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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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7 news items

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:26:07 -0700

Friday's Late Late Show - Reach for the Stars on RTÉ One saw Senator Eamonn Coghlan, author Cathy Kelly, RTÉ Television presenter Emma O'Driscoll and RTÉ News' Eileen Whelan transform themselves into four iconic stars in aid of charity. Coghlan, as ...
The Plain Dealer
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:33:45 -0700

Cathy Kelly (left) and Heather Grace came all of the way from Detroit to enjoy the opening day race program at ThistleDown Racino on Friday afternoon, and to pet Bucky, an exercise pony owned by trainer David Hunt. (D'Arcy Egan / The Plain Dealer). Print.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:40:41 -0700

... Show - called Reach for the Stars - will be a singing challenge in aid of charity. Author Cathy Kelly, Senator Eamonn Coughlan, newscaster Eileen Whelan and television presenter Emma O'Driscoll will take on a singing challenge for their chosen ...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 01:01:57 -0700

The Late Late Show – Reach for the Stars sees well-known personalities transform themselves into pop stars with author Cathy Kelly, Senator Eamonn Coughlan, newscaster Eileen Whelan and television present Emma O'Driscoll all taking on the challenge ...
Irish Independent
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:18:59 -0700

Author Cathy Kelly, Senator Eamonn Coughlan, newscaster Eileen Whelan and television presenter Emma O'Driscoll will take on a singing challenge for their chosen charities. Download our Free iPhone App Now. Download our iPad app now. Download our ...

Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 23:45:00 -0700

She is survived by her husband, Laverne Weidler of Farmer City; five children, Susan (Jack) Kusek of Spring Valley, Cathy (Kelly) Riggs of Peoria, Michael (Carol) Weidler of Springfield, Verne Weidler of Normal and Thomas Weidler of Farmer City; one ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:29:58 -0700

Guests included the organisation's ambassadors, Munster rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan, actor Stephen Rea, author Cathy Kelly and Galway hurler Joe Canning. O'Callaghan, accompanied by his mother Marie and wife Jenny, was taking time out ...

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