Cathy Kelly
Cathy Kelly is a Northern Irish
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 internationally best-selling author of female fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

. She is a former journalist.

Kelly is one of the largest women's authors to come out of Northern Ireland along with Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes is an Irish Book Awards-winner Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women's literature. She has sold over more 22 million copies worldwide and been translated into 32 languages...

 and Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern is an Irish novelist, since 2004. In addition to publishing several novels, she has also contributed a number of short stories to various anthologies, for which all her royalties go to charity.Ahern also created and produced the ABC comedy Samantha Who? starring Christina Applegate...

, having once outsold both Dan Brown
Dan Brown
Dan Brown is an American author of thriller fiction, best known for the 2003 bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Brown's novels, which are treasure hunts set in a 24-hour time period, feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories...

 and J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE , better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British author of the Harry Potter fantasy series...

 in the UK. In 2005 she sold 1,433,032 copies of her novels in the UK and 118,000 copies in Ireland. Her latest book, Homecoming, will be published in the autumn.

Early life and career

Kelly was born in Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 but reared in Dublin. She studied at a convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

 school. She initially worked for 13 years as a newspaper journalist with the Sunday World
Sunday World
The Sunday World is an Irish newspaper published by Sunday Newspapers Limited, a division of Independent News and Media. It is the largest selling "popular" newspaper in the Republic of Ireland and is also sold in Northern Ireland .-Origins:The Sunday World was Ireland's first tabloid newspaper...

, also spending time as an agony aunt and film critic
Film criticism
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and...

. She later said she "didn’t like that world of doorstepping and scandals, I was stressed with trying to be hard".

In 1997, Kelly's debut Woman to Woman was first published, although she did not receive an advance. In March 1998, she received her first royalty cheque, spending it on a central heating
Central heating
A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be a HVAC system.Central heating differs from local heating in that the heat generation...

 system for her home. She did not become a full-time writer until she had written three books. She had quit journalism by 2001. Being an artist from Ireland she has benefited from tax breaks.

Almost 300,000 copies of her novel Just Between Us were sold. She dedicated her seventh novel, Best of Friends, to her labrador Tamsin who had previously died.Always and Forever topped the UK bestseller list for all types of books during October 2005, displacing Dan Brown
Dan Brown
Dan Brown is an American author of thriller fiction, best known for the 2003 bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Brown's novels, which are treasure hunts set in a 24-hour time period, feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories...

 and J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE , better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British author of the Harry Potter fantasy series...

 who had been on top most weeks. Her publishers got her a flight to England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 to allow her to celebrate with them.

Kelly's first seven books featured in the bestsellers list in The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

. Her first eight novels achieved international sales worth £8 million. Her book Lessons in Heartbreak was shortlisted for the Eason Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards
Irish Book Awards
The Irish Book Awards is an annual Irish literary award given to books and authors in various categories. It is the only literary award supported by all-Irish bookstores. First awarded in 2006, they grew out of the Hughes & Hughes bookstore's Irish Novel of the Year Prize which was inaugurated in...

 in April 2009. Once in a Lifetime topped the UK bestsellers for Kelly again, for multiple weeks.

She is influenced by the writings of Jilly Cooper
Jilly Cooper
Jilly Cooper OBE is an English author. She started her career as a journalist and wrote numerous works of non-fiction before writing several romance novels, the first of which appeared in 1975. She is most famous for writing the Rutshire Chronicles.-Early life:Jilly Sallitt was born in Hornchurch,...

, Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy is an Irish novelist, newspaper columnist and speaker. Educated at University College Dublin, she worked as a teacher then a journalist at The Irish Times and later became a writer of novels and short stories.Many of her novels are set in Ireland, dealing with the tensions between...

 and Joanna Trollope
Joanna Trollope
Joanna Trollope OBE , is an English novelist.-Life:Joanna Trollope was educated at Reigate County School for Girls followed by St Hugh's College, Oxford. From 1965 to 1967, she worked at the Foreign Office...



Kelly is involved with many charities and has been an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland
UNICEF Ireland
UNICEF Ireland, also known as the Irish National Committee for UNICEF, is one of 36 UNICEF National Committees based in industrialised countries.The National Committees raise funds for the organisation's worldwide emergency and development work....

 since 2005. Her role has seen her visit Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...


Personal life

Currently living on an acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

 in Enniskerry
Enniskerry is a village in County Wicklow, Ireland. It had a population of 2,672 at the 2006 census.- Location :...

, County Wicklow
County Wicklow
County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Wicklow, which derives from the Old Norse name Víkingalág or Wykynlo. Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county...

 with her husband John Sheehan, a former President of Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

, and twin sons Murray and Dylan. She keeps leather Norwegian
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 encyclopedias on a shelf in her toilet. Her father died after enduring Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death...

. She lived in Kimmage
Kimmage is a small suburb on the Southside of Dublin near Crumlin, Greenhills, Harold's Cross, Rathfarnham, Templeogue, and Terenure. The name "Kimmage" comes from the Irish cam uisce, which means "winding" river. The River Poddle flows through Kimmage, and flows on to join the River Liffey...

 when she was twenty-three years old.

External links

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