To celebrate St Patrick's Day, let's get to know some Irish chick lit authors a little bit better. Irish chick lit is very popular, so this is a great time to learn more about these authors and this area of chick lit. Enjoy!
Marian Keyes, one of the most successful Irish novelists of all time, studied law and accountancy until she started writing short stories in 1993. She did not plan on writing a novel, but sent her short stories to a publisher with a note saying that she had started working on a novel. When the publishers replied asking to see the novel, she began to write what became her first book Watermelon. It was published in Ireland in 1995, where it was an immediate success. Its appeal spread to Britain and Marian's book are now published in thirty-three languages. Her eleven novels include Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Rachel's Holiday, Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, Angels, The Other Side of the Story, Anybody Out There, The Brightest Star In the Sky and This Charming Man. All of her books are bestsellers around the world, selling a total of twenty-three milllion copies to date. Anybody Out There won the British Book Award for popular fiction and the inaugaral Melissa Nathan prize for Comedy Romance. This Charming Man won the Irish Book Award for popular fiction. Rachel’s Holiday is being developed for film while Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married has been made into a sixteen part television series. Watermelon was a made for TV movie in 2003, and Last Chance Saloon became a French film called Au Secours J’ai Trente Ans in 2004. In addition to novels, Marian writes short stories and articles for various magazines and other publications. She is also involved with various charities. She was born in Limerick in 1963, and spent her twenties in London, but is now living in Dún Laoghaire with her husband.
For fourteen years, Claudia Carroll played the part of Nicola Prendergast in the long-running Dublin soap opera, Fair City. She wrote her first novel, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me in her dressing room when she was supposed to be learning her lines. It was published in 2004 to critical acclaim and became an instant bestseller. In 2005, she followed this up with The Last of the Great Romantics, which became another bestseller. The following year, her third book, Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man was published and then optioned by Fox for a TV series in the US allowing Claudia to quit her day job and write full-time. In 2007, her fourth novel, I Never Fancied Him Anyway was released and became another bestseller, which was optioned by CBS for a movie. The movie is currently in pre-production, with a screenplay adapted by Academy Award nominee, Robin Swicord. In 2008, her fifth novel, Do You Want to Know a Secret was published and remained on bestseller lists for several weeks. In 2009 and 2010, she followed this up with If This Is Paradise, I Want My Old Life Back and Personally, I Blame My Fairy Godmother. Claudia was born in Dublin, where she still lives and where she’s worked extensively both as a theatre and television actress in addition to writing novels.
At twenty-one years old, Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel PS, I Love You, which was sold to over forty countries and was also made into a film of the same title starring Hilary Swank. PS, I Love You was one of the biggest-selling debut novels of 2004, reaching number 1 in Ireland and in the UK Sunday Times bestseller list. It was also a bestseller throughout Europe and the USA, staying on the best-seller list in Germany for over 52 weeks. In November of 2004, Cecelia's second book Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie/ Rosie Dunne in the US) also reached number 1 in Ireland and the UK, remaining at the top of the Irish bestsellers list for 12 weeks and again a bestseller internationally. Her third book If You Could See Me Now was published in November 2005, became an international bestseller, and was optioned for film. Cecelia won the 2005 Irish Post Award for Literature and a 2005 Corine Award for her second book Where Rainbows End. In May 2007, Cosmopolitan US honored her with a Fun Fearless Fiction Award for If You Could See Me Now. Cecelia’s fourth novel, international number one bestseller, A Place Called Here (published under the title There’s No Place Like Here in the US) has been optioned by Touchstone for a TV Drama series. Cecelia was a co-creater and producer of the ABC half-hour comedy television show, Samantha Who? Cecelia has also contributed short stories to anthologies for which all her royalties go to charity. Cecelia's fifth novel Thanks for the Memories was published in April 2008 and was nominated for a British Book Award for Most Popular Book. Her sixth novel The Gift was published in October 2008 and was the second highest selling hardback of the year in the UK. She was voted Author of Year in the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in 2008. That same year, Cecelia's first play, Mrs Whippy, a one woman show, opened and is currently touring Ireland. Cecelia's seventh novel, The Book of Tomorrow is available now.
Cathy Kelly began her journalism career at the Sunday World, Ireland's biggest tabloid newspaper. While still a journalist, she decided to start writing a novel. Her first novel Woman to Woman went straight in to the Irish bestseller list and stayed there for eight weeks. Since then, Cathy has written ten more novels. Once In A Lifetime, her tenth novel, was published in paperback in September 2009 and went to number one within days of its release. Her books are international best sellers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Her upcoming novel Homecoming will be released later this year. Cathy is also an Ambassador for UNICEF in Ireland helping to raise awareness of children orphaned in Africa through Aids. Born in Belfast, she currently lives with her partner, John, and six-year-old twin boys in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Sinead was born and raised in Dublin where she grew up watching her mother write children's books. From then on, her dream was to write a novel. At the age of thirty, while working as a journalist in London, she began to write creatively and joined a creative writing group. Her first novel The Baby Trail has been translated into twenty languages. Her second book A Perfect Match (The Right Fit in the US) has been published worldwide. Her third novel From Here to Maternity is the final instalment of the Emma and James trilogy. Her fourth book In My Sister’s Shoes is about two sisters who help save each other. Her fifth book has been published under two different titles: Whose Life Is It Anyway? in Ireland and Keeping it in the Family in the UK. Her sixth book, Pieces of My Heart, about a family dealing with a terrible crisis, has recently been published. Sinead moved back to Dublin where she lives with her husband, two sons and baby girl.
Sarah Webb is the author of nine bestselling novels including Always the Bridesmaid, Anything for Love, and The Loving Kind. Her books have been published in many different countries including the U.S. and Indonesia. She has also written many children's books, has contributed short stories to several collections and has compiled and edited two charity collections of her own. She writes a popular series for readers ages 10+ called Ask Amy Green. Three books in the series have been published so far. After attending Trinity College in Dublin, Sarah worked in publishing for many years as a children's book buyer. She now combines writing with schools visits, speaking engagements and giving workshops at festivals, and reviewing children"s books for the Irish Independent. She has also run many successful readers' days and is on the board of Children's Books Ireland. Sarah is currently working on her tenth adult novel and her fourth Ask Amy Green novel. She lives in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, with her partner and three children.
Are you a fan of Irish chick lit? Which books have you read? Who are your favorite Irish authors? Are there any Irish authors that you would add to this list? Leave a comment & share your thoughts with us. Thanks!