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Cathy Kelly
Born (1966-09-12) 12 September 1966 (age 48)[1]
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Pen name Cathy Kelly
Language English
Nationality Irish
Period 1997–present
Genre Women's fiction
Subject Women and relationships
Notable awards 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)
  • It Started With Paris (2014)


  • 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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33305 news items

Sydney Morning Herald
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 04:45:00 -0800

I met John when I wasn't thinking about meeting a man or expecting to meet a man – it just happened. I guess that proves that being yourself and relaxing is when it happens. ** Cathy Kelly's latest book It Started with Paris is on sale now (Hachette ...

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:04:32 -0800

Fans of famed Irish storyteller Cathy Kelly will delight in her latest offering which, as the title suggest, starts in Paris at the top of the Eiffel Tower with a young man proposing to his girlfriend while tourist bystanders clap. This rosy romantic ...


Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:48:45 -0800

“People agreed that in some situations a delayed start is the way to go,” said Cathy Kelly, Parkway School District communications coordinator. District officials say they've received mostly positive feedback about the decision. “Parents and students ...

The Oxford Times

The Oxford Times
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:09:31 -0800

Romantic fiction writer Cathy Kelly, author of It Started With Paris (Orion, £16.99), said: “I'm a huge fan of India Knight's no-nonsense column in The Times and her marvellous take on life, the universe and shopping. “I'd love to find her new book, In ...

WHAS 11.com (subscription)

WHAS 11.com (subscription)
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:30:22 -0800

(WHAS11) -- The good news is more and more people are living through breast cancer, but for some people, adjusting to life after can be just as overwhelming as that first diagnosis. "Life is not going to be the same, I have had cancer now," Cathy Kelly ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:50:13 -0700

Facebook · Twitter · Google · Email. Author, Cathy Kelly has the wisdom of age. Often hailed as the best female writer to come out of Ireland since Maeve Binchy, former journalist Cathy Kelly recalls having her first book delivered to the Sunday World ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:30:59 -0800

Author Cathy Kelly with (on left) Saeda from Syria, living in Jordan with her son Mohammed (3) and daughters Rula (6) Noor (12) and Wafa'a (16). Photo: Mark Condren. W ORLD War II still haunts and fascinates us - we watch films about it and shudder at ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 18:33:04 -0800

It Started With Paris - Cathy Kelly The doyenne of Irish fiction and one of our biggest exports has returned faithfully with another new book in time for Christmas. This one takes one of the most romantic of all stories for its premise - at the top of ...

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