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10th May 2024

‘This is my lifelong dream come true’ – Vicki Notaro is about to become your new favourite author

Kat O'Connor

Vicki Notaro on her first novel, Nora Ephron’s influence, and the magic of writing

Finding a book that really grabs your attention feels pretty tricky nowadays. Novels like One Day and Normal People completely stole my heart when I first read them so much so that I struggled to find a story that I enjoyed as much until I got my hands on a copy of Reality Check by Vicki Notaro.

The former magazine editor has made her debut as an author and trust me when I say she’s going to be your new favourite writer.

There’s a magic in Notaro’s writing that reminds me of so many incredible female writers like her inspirations Nora Ephron and Marian Keyes, but there’s beautiful storytelling amongst the drama and complex characters that Nancy Meyers would be impressed with.

I recently sat down with the writer to discuss her first novel, its inspiration, and the importance of representing women in their thirties.

Notaro’s debut novel follows screenwriter Portia as her relationship ends abruptly and her entire life is flipped on its head. What is so refreshing about her debut is the characters are not 20-something Trinity students, but women in their 30s who have lived.

“Life begins at 30. I needed to write about something that I knew and what I know is being a woman in her late 30s. That’s where Portia and Vinnie came from because we were all born around the same time. I’ve always wanted a sound Carrie Bradshaw-type character.

Notaro penned the book within a matter of months, which comes as no surprise because she is a natural-born author. There’s been an invisible string connecting her to this novel from the get-go of her career, but she’s grateful for each “pinch me moment” that she’s experienced.

“If I have a writing lull I turn to Nora or Nancy”

Vicki shared, “I wanted a book about glamorous creatures but about their reality. It’s something you can fall into and escape. I wrote what I wanted to read. I’d never not be true to myself.”

“I wasn’t trying to live up to any standard. I wanted to see if I could write a book. It was very much a surprise to me along the way that not only could I write it but could I keep going.

Women’s fiction is a genre that is often dismissed in the literary world, but it’s the one with the most heart. And writing for that audience means the world to Notaro.

“Writing for women is the biggest honour. All of my favourite novels come under that banner of chick-lit which is cool now and that’s the dream.”

Notaro has just entered the fiction world in Ireland, but she already has a gang of female authors supporting her including Patricia Scanlan, Marian Keyes, and Sarah Breen.

“The support from other writers has been out of this world. I asked Marian Keyes for advice straight away and she’s been so kind to me.

“To be welcomed, to be praised, to be accepted by these Irish writers is unbelievable,” she shared.

With the support of Keyes, Ephron’s influence, and a love for all things pop culture, there’s no doubt Reality Check will be the book of the summer.

Having an author as passionate and talented as Vicki Notaro enter the bookish world is what we needed.

She’s only getting started but there’s no doubt she’ll be following in the footsteps of her peers in no time.

Ireland has always needed a female author like Vicki Notaro and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

Reality Check by Vicki Notaro is available now.