Did you love the first book in the Flawed duology? Cecelia Ahern brings her Flawed series to a conclusion in Perfect. Will Celestine ever be free of the Morality Court’s decision? Can she save not only herself, but all those declared Flawed?
Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, Celestine has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick—the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.
In an interview for Flawed, you said you wanted to “…tell a story about the importance of our imperfections.” This narrative continues into Perfect. What would you like a reader to take away from the conclusion of Perfect concerning our imperfections and how we perceive them?
I’d like the reader to take away many things, one of the most obvious messages is that we are all imperfect. I think that we put ourselves under so much trouble not to make mistakes, or we harshly judge others who have, as if we ourselves are somehow immune to making bad decisions.
In both Flawed and Perfect, those who have made mistakes are the people who grow and evolve more as people, because they learn from their mistakes, they learn more about themselves. Of course, the mistakes in Flawed and Perfect are decisions people have made that aren’t illegal, they are decisions that for moral or ethical reasons are frowned upon by society. Many peoples’ mistakes, such as Celestine’s, have been to question authority and I think that’s something we should always do, not in an aggressive way, but it’s important to always question what you yourself belief as opposed to what you’re being told. In these stories Celestine forms her own thoughts and opinions and grows into herself.
After mega successful dystopian trilogies like The Hunger Games and Divergent, three book arcs are wildly popular. Was there a particular reason you chose to create a duology?
When I initially got the idea I naturally felt that it should be a trilogy, but only because I was so used to trilogies being the norm. It’s only when I was developing the story that I realized a duology was better suited to my stories. These novels are about self-reflection, the different sides that people have, and Flawed and Perfect represent two sides of the coin. I think the stories benefited from being told in two novels because as a result they are jam-packed with action, suspense and emotions, instead of it playing out more slowly over three novels.
How was your experience with wrapping up the many threads of Flawed in two books? Did you find that you knew exactly where you were heading, or did it take some time to figure out?
I knew exactly where I was going with these novels, they were so alive and vivid in my head, that I could barely keep up with my pen when I was writing. I wrote them both in record-breaking time (for me) in 6 weeks each. However, I was lucky when writing Perfect that Flawed had not yet gone to print so I just about had time to quickly change some elements of the story in Flawed, as Perfect grew.
Many authors look at their book like their babies. You spend so much time with the words, thinking about them, writing, revising, and rewriting them. What’s it like to be done with a duology you’ve put so much time into?
Writing these novels was a unique experience for me. These were my first YA novels and because I write one (adult) novel a year, in order to write these I had to write two novels per year, and I had to find the time to do that. Over two years I wrote a novel called The Year I Met You, then Flawed, then The Marble Collector, then Perfect, then Lyrebird. When I was writing Lyrebird I was promoting Flawed. It has been a very intense time for me, and instead of thinking that the stories might all get lost in the pack, it has meant that the time spent with them has been incredibly intense and heightened.
Returning to Perfect after writing another book between them, was so natural. It flowed, as if I was picking up from where I left off, the characters were already inside me waiting to go. In a way I couldn’t wait to get back to their journey because I felt like I’d paused them, and there were in limbo, waiting for me to finish their story.
What’s next for you? Any projects you’re particularly jazzed about?
I also create TV shows so an original idea of mine called ‘The Art of Love’ goes into production next month for ZDF Network and I’m looking forward to that. But mostly I’m excited about finally being able to reveal what happens to Celestine in Perfect – it’s been very difficult to stay quiet for over a year!