Novelist Cathy Kelly was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, brought up in Dublin and started her working life as a journalist in an Irish national newspaper. She worked as both a news and feature reporter, and worked as the paper’s film critic for five years, as well as being the agony aunt for seven years.
Her first book, Woman To Woman, was published in 1997 and was an instant bestseller, spending eight weeks at number one on the Irish bestseller charts. Her subsequent novels have been number ones all around the world and are published in many different languages.
She’s just finished her eleventh novel, Once in a Lifetime, which was published in 2009. Cathy lives in Wicklow in Ireland with her partner, John, and their twin sons, Murray and Dylan.
In 2005, she was appointed as a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador. She’s since visited Mozambique and Rwanda as part of her work with UNICEF. Global Parenting – caring for children orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS – is the main focus of her work with UNICEF.
In her novel, ‘Past Secrets’, Cathy highlighted the issue of HIV/AIDS and UNICEF’s work on the issue by including the following in the book’s afterword:
‘Every minutes of every day, a child under the age of 15 dies of an AIDS –related illness. If this book took you four days to read, 5,760 children will have died from AIDS during this time. Please support UNICEF’s ‘Unite For Children, Unite Against AIDS’ campaign. You can help UNICEF help millions of children who are missing their childhoods because of HIV/AIDS.’