Irish crime writer Andrea Mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major TV deal with Sarah Snook

Drink the champagne is Irish crime writer Andrea Mara's mantra as she admits she has had to learn to celebrate life's successes without worrying about what is coming down the line.

The author of All Her Fault is flying high at the moment as she follows in the footsteps of Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty having landed a major TV adaption to her book and with a major star to boot.

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Succession star and actress-of-the-minute Sarah Snook has signed on to play the lead role and to also executive produce the adaption bringing her considerable clout to a story set in a small community in Dublin.

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in Succession. Pic: HBO/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

It's an incredible boost for Andrea's profile but taking the pat on the back is easier said than done even if she is getting better at it and credits having a little bit of worry with helping to keep her motivated.

'My first book deal was with an Irish publisher and I was absolutely elated, I couldn't believe it, I was so amazed that this was happening and I remember driving to the school to collect my children and thinking this is it, this is a life-changing moment,' she told EVOKE

Andrea continued: 'I remember my husband was away in London at the time for work and... he brought home a bottle of champagne to celebrate but I wouldn't open it because the book deal was based on the outline the publisher had seen but I hadn't written the book yet so I said "no we can't open the champagne until I've written the book."

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

Andrea Mara.

'Even after I'd finished writing that I thought "well I can't open the champagne yet because what if the editor doesn't like it?" and even after the editor came back and all was good and we did the edits I thought "no I'm not opening the champagne until we see it on the bookshelves" and even after it was on the bookshelves I thought "what if nobody likes it?" and it just went on forever!'

In the end, Andrea and her husband opened the bubbly on her birthday to disassociate it from the book deal.

Andrea's own story starts a world away from literature, unlike so many of her peers she never envisioned becoming an author and began her career working in finance. It was when she returned to work after having her third child that she found herself drawn to writing, or rather blogging, as a means of a release.

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

All Her Fault by Andrea Mara.

'I was trying to juggle the whole childcare and work and kids and family and guilt and non-stop guilt... I started blogging about it. I started an anonymous blog called Office Mum where it was just really letting off steam, it was free therapy,' she said.

Her writing turned into occasional freelance jobs but in a plot twist to rival one of her books, Andrea's life was upended when the financial services company she worked for announced that they were closing their office here.

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

Andrea Mara.

She was given the choice to move to Luxembourg or India or take redundancy. While moving abroad wasn't an option, she took it as a given that she would end up back in the financial sector even as writing was quickly becoming a passion.

A trip to a career coach changed everything and she made a deal with herself, she would give the writing a go for six months, and if it came to nothing at least she tried.

Andrea admits she expected to fail and even kept her office clothes in the attic for her inevitable return to the world of finance.

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

Andrea Mara at her book launch.

Four years later a social media comment from Irish writer Margaret Scott encouraged her to try writing a book. 'That was a permission I needed, I think I am the kind of person who isn't brave enough to try things unless someone tells me I can do it,' she honestly admits.

Seven books later and she admits she still grapples with imposter syndrome but is ready to open the champagne when needs be.

'I've changed my philosophy on that, I'm now ready to celebrate every little good thing that happens. For any of my books I will cut the cake or open the bubbly. ... for me, I think I just want to enjoy and celebrate every good thing without worrying what if the next thing doesn't work out.'

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

Andrea Mara on holiday.

All Her Fault recounts the spine-tingling tale of mum Marissa (played by Snook) who allows her son to go on a play date but when she tries to collect him, the woman at the door isn't a mother she recognises and doesn't know where her son is, kick-starting every parent's worst nightmare.

The plot is gleaned from her own experience of trying to collect her child from a playdate and finding nobody home and the house seemingly abandoned but thankfully she realised that the family had moved and she had accidentally gone to their old address.

She is utterly blown away to see the Succession star nab the lead role in the adaption and says 'that was the most amazing moment of my entire life!'

irish crime writer andrea mara on learning to pat herself on the back after major tv deal with sarah snook

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in Succession. Pic: HBO/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Andrea added: 'You hope [that your book will be optioned for TV ] but you don't really think it will ever happen, In February I got a late-night call from my agent to say that Peacock had green-lit All Her Fault... so that was extremely exciting at the time. Then two weeks ago there were emails to tell me there was very exciting news and that was that Sarah Snook had agreed to play the lead role so obviously I screamed... I Googled her and just sat there for the next 48 hours refreshing my Google

Unlike the book, the TV adaption is set in Chicago and will air on Peacock but as of yet no release date has been given. Andrea's latest book Someone In The Attic has just hit bookshelves.

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