Dawn O’Porter is certifiably the coolest chick on the block. Starting out on Balls of Steel and progressing to tough investigative journalism, including a series of four documentary films in which she explored nudity and lesbianism, Dawn’s career has been exciting and varied. She married Chris O’Dowd in a three-day event titled ‘Wedfest’ (obligatory photos posted on Twitter of the couple in onesies) in 2012. She’s not slowed down her impressive media adventures, including the publication of her excellent young adult novel, by super cool publishers Hot Key Books, ‘Paper Aeroplanes’, this month.
Gossipdrip caught up with Dawn for a quick five minute low-down on the next exciting chapter of her life….
Dawn, your book is brilliant! What made you decide to write a book now and what were your motives behind it?
It’s a book about two teenage girls, Renée and Flo, and the unlikely friendship they form. I wanted to write a friendship in the same way that most books write about a love affair, because they can very often feel as powerful. The book is set in Guernsey in the 90’s, so is loosely inspired by my own teenage years. I was part of the last generation before mobile phones and the internet. We communicated differently and it was fun looking back on how simple things used to be, and how much more talking, as opposed to texting, we did.
What do you think has been your most memorable project as an investigative journalist? How hard is it to be taken seriously as a woman in the media?
The most memorable would be when I starved myself to try to become a size zero. It was painful and awful but I was proud of it because I think I proved a point. And yes, it is hard to be taken seriously. You do one job that makes you look a little foolish and people never forgive you for it. It makes a lot of women play safe, but I have tried not to let that happen.
How do you and Chris manage your hectic schedules and your marriage? What does the future hold?
We just keep ploughing through because we know there will be a day when we can just chill. We are lucky that we are both busy and understand each others lives. We make sure that when we are home we spend quality time together. I think as a couple as long as those moments where you are alone are special, then you can survive anything. It’s when you lose sight of the little things that you run into problems. Despite our hectic lives, we are never happier than when we are having a TV dinner.
The future is looking much the same. We will travel and work until something ties us down. But even then I think we will keep moving.
Do you have any advice for aspiring journalists?
Don’t write what you think people want to hear, write what you feel.
Dawn’s book is available to buy now. Follow her on Twitter @hotpatooties