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Cathy Kelly
Born (1966-09-12) 12 September 1966 (age 47)[1]
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Pen name Cathy Kelly
Language English
Nationality Irish
Period 1997–present
Genres Women's fiction
Subjects Women and relationships
Notable award(s) RoNA Award


Cathy Kelly (born 12 September 1966) is an Irish former journalist and writer of women's fiction since 1997. She has gained international recognition with her popular fiction novels, which are published globally in many languages.[2] In 2001, her novel Someone Like You won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.[3] Kelly is one of the most successful female authors to come out of Ireland since Maeve Binchy, having once outsold both Dan Brown and J. K. Rowling in the UK.[2]


Early life and career[edit]

Born in Belfast but raised in Dublin,[4] She studied at a convent school. Cathy initially worked for 13 years as a newspaper journalist with the Sunday World, where she worked in news, features, along with spending time as an agony aunt and film critic.[4]

However, her overwhelming love was always fiction and she published her first international bestseller, Woman To Woman, in 1997.[4] She did not become a full-time writer until she had written another two books (She’s The One and Never Too Late) and finally decided to leave the world of journalism in 2001.[2]

Someone Like You, What She Wants, Just Between Us and Best of Friends followed in successive years.[2] Always and Forever was her first hardback number one and then topped the overall UK bestseller list during October 2005, displacing Dan Brown and J. K. Rowling who had been on top most weeks.[2]

Her books Lessons in Heartbreak and Homecoming were shortlisted for the Eason Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.[5] Once in a Lifetime topped the UK bestsellers for Kelly again,[6] for multiple weeks.[7] In March 2011, Homecoming achieved the same feat. Her recent short story collection, Christmas Magic, was a Christmas number one in Ireland.[2] She is hugely popular around the world: a number one bestseller in Australia and New Zealand, where she tours annually, and published in many different languages.[8]

Cathy's trademark is warm story-telling; she writes books which deal with themes ranging from relationships and marriage to depression and loss, but always with an uplifting message and strong female characters at the heart.[2]


Kelly is involved with many charities and has been an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland since 2005.[4][9] She works as a Global Parent for UNICEF, which means raising funds and awareness for children orphaned by or living with HIV/AIDs.[2] Her role has seen her visit Rwanda and Mozambique.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Cathy lives in Enniskerry, County Wicklow with her family and three dogs.[2]


Single novels[edit]

  • Woman to Woman (1997)
  • She's the One (1998)
  • Never Too Late (1999)
  • Someone Like You (2000)
  • What She Wants (2001)
  • Just Between Us (2002)
  • Best of Friends (2003)
  • Always and Forever (2005)
  • Past Secrets (2006)
  • Lessons in Heartbreak (2008)
  • Once in a Lifetime (2009)
  • The Perfect Holiday (2010)
  • Homecoming (2010)
  • The House on Willow Street (2012)
  • The Honey Queen (2013)


  • Letter from Chicago (2002)


  • Christmas Magic (2011)

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Cathy Kelly goes from agony aunt to bestselling novelist". Brisbane Courier-Mail. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cathy Kelly The Official Site". 6 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Awards by the Romantic Novelists' Association, 13 October 2012 
  4. ^ a b c d Pauline Askin (1 April 2009). "Book Talk: Modern, ancient Ireland inspire novelist Cathy Kelly". Reuters. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Eoin Burke-Kennedy (1 April 2009). "Eclectic shortlist for Irish Book Awards". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Andrea Byrne (20 September 2009). "Literary elite bring their words to life". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Philip Stone (15 September 2009). "Cathy Kelly stays on top for HarperCollins". The Bookseller. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Curtis Brown". 6 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "what you can do to help unicef". Irish Independent. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathy_Kelly — Please support Wikipedia.
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24 news items

Today's News-Herald
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 16:42:18 -0700

Zachary Matson/News-Herald photo | Posted: Sunday, July 6, 2014 12:01 am. Shelter volunteer Cathy Kelly pets lab mix Midnight in the shade in one of the pens behind the kennels. Volunteers help take the dogs out to stretch their legs at least twice a day.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:37:30 -0700

Cathy Kelly and Dinky Star, scamp Blossom & Licky Heart. "I grew up with dogs and adore them. I guess there aren't too many authors who dedicate books to their dogs as I did, once, to my beloved golden lab, who is sadly in doggie heaven and was on ...
Mid Columbia Tri City Herald
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:03:45 -0700

Cathy Kelly and Brian Swearingen, pop/ballads/Broadway tunes, 7-9 p.m., Barnard Griffin Winery, 878 Tulip Lane, Richland. No cover. VooDoo Alley, 7 p.m., Tagaris Winery, 844 Tulip Lane, Richland. Daggerface, Redvolt, Savage Henrys, The Ashamed and ...

Newtown Abbey Times

Newtown Abbey Times
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 02:56:15 -0700

Best selling writers such as Philippa Gregory, Cathy Kelly and Jodi Picoultwill be in 'Conversations at the Mill', an exciting new series enabling them to talk about their new work, engage directly with fans and sign books. The first of the ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 18:32:35 -0700

Author Cathy Kelly, who will release her latest book 'It Started With Paris' in October, said: “When I was a kid, there was no such thing as an iPad, a 3DS or 'Minecraft' – that's what you are up against today if you want your kids to read. “The option ...
Today's News-Herald
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 00:07:30 -0700

Volunteer Cathy Kelly sat in a shaded corner of one of the pens with a black lab named Midnight. “A lot of them have good manners, they just need a lot of playing and loving,” Kelly said. “(Midnight) is absolutely gorgeous… he is high energy, but will ...

Mid Columbia Tri City Herald

Mid Columbia Tri City Herald
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Saturday Night Sistas, retro-pop tunes performed by Cathy Kelly and Brian Swearingen, 7-9 p.m., Market Vineyards, 1950 Keene Road, Richland. Badger Mountain Dry Band, 7:30 p.m., Power House Theater, 111 N. Sixth Ave., Walla Walla. Cover: $10.
Mid Columbia Tri City Herald
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:52:30 -0700

Singer Cathy Kelly and guitarist Brian Swearingen will celebrate sistas everywhere by performing a mix of music from pop to ballads to Broadway favorites starting at 7 p.m. July 19 at Market Vineyards on Keene Road in Richland. The Tri-City musicians ...

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