The Who, What, When, Where and Why with Cathy Kelly

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By Jade Craddock

Best-selling author Cathy Kelly has been publishing books for more than 18 years. Her latest title, Between Sisters, was released last month and Cathy kindly took the time out to answer our who, what, when, where and why. ♥

Who has been the most important person in your writing journey?

Probably all my author friends who have been there for me and encouraged me when I felt as if everything I had written was dreadful. Being creative is a double-edged sword: you create and then feel the fear that it is all awful and you should give up. Without these friends reading early drafts, I would have never had so much courage to try new things.

What motivates you to write?

I love writing and always have. If I won the European lottery, I would still write. I think that desire to create an imaginary world with imaginary characters is huge within me. Loving writing – even with all the self-doubt – has to be a part of being a writer. If you don’t love it, it will be torture.

When did you first start writing?

I started writing when I was a teenager but had been telling stories to my baby sister from when I was about ten. I loved the creative writing part of English in school and then became a journalist. I tried to write fiction when I was twenty-one or two, but I really wasn’t ready. I started my first book when I was twenty-seven, which is – shockingly – twenty-two years ago!!

Where do you write?

I write in a book-filled, perennially-messy study in my house with this huge cream desk which is overflowing with bits of paper ‘to be filed..’, candles ( I light candles when I write), lavender from our garden in jam jar, far too many notebooks (stationery obsession) and hundreds of pens, some of which actually work. When I write emails, I listen to the radio but when I write creatively, I shut the world out, shut the door and listen to low music.

Why did you write this book?

I was writing It Started With Paris, which features sisters who have grown apart – heartbroken Leila and single mum, Susi – and I began to think about writing a book with the opposite dynamic: sisters who are incredibly close. Cassie and Coco are closer than many sisters, perhaps, because their mother left them when they were small and Cassie, who was seven to Coco’s one when she left, has become almost like a mother to her little sister. I love exploring relationships between women and families. Also, Coco gave me a chance to write about a fabulous subject: someone who is slightly commitment-phobic because she believes that people leave…

Cathy Kelly is published around the world, with millions of books in print and is a No.1 bestseller in the UK, Ireland and Australia. She lives with her family and their three dogs in County Wicklow, Ireland. She is also an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland, raising funds and awareness for children orphaned by or living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at or follow her on Twitter @cathykellybooks

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