I’m delighted to be able to claim that I was born in Listowel, Co Kerry, even if we did move from there before I was one year old. (For anyone outside Ireland, the small town of Listowel, host to the famous Writers’ Week Festival every summer – www.writersweek.ie – has produced more than its fair share of writers, most of whom are far more accomplished and renowned than me, but I’m very happy to share their birthplace.)
I lived in Tipperary town until I was eight (all I remember is my convent school, full of black-habited nuns) and from there we moved to Limerick city, where I still live – and a fine place it is too.
After school I qualified as a teacher and taught in Dublin for a handful of years, taking a few breaks along the way – two years teaching English in Zimbabwe, three years working as an advertising copywriter in London – until finally in 2001 I decided to try my hand at writing a book, something that I’d been thinking about for years.
I attended a weekend writing course (Getting Started on the Novel) given by David Rice of the Killaloe Hedge School in County Clare. Following that, I took another break from teaching and flew to San Francisco, where one of my brothers lived at the time, and it was there I wrote The Daisy Picker. To my great delight it won a ‘Write a Bestseller’ competition that Tivoli, a new Irish publishing house, was running to launch itself, and my prize was the coveted two book deal. Happy days.
Back in Ireland I returned to the classroom and wrote in my spare time, and in due course The Daisy Picker appeared on the shelves, followed a year later by my second book, Putting Out the Stars. Shortly afterwards I switched to job-sharing so I could have more time to write, and thankfully the inspiration kept coming. In 2006 I signed up with Hodder Headline Ireland, and as I write this I’m still with them (they’re now Hachette).
In 2008 I took the quantum leap and gave up teaching to become a fulltime writer, and so far, so good. I’ve been translated into Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, German, Italian and Russian. I’ve also been published in the US and Australia, and somewhere along the way I found time to write two books for children. Life is busy, but I love it.
Check out my Books page, where you’ll find details of all the different publications. And of course wherever you live, you can pick up any of them on Amazon or other online sales agents, in traditional or e-format. If you want to buy in Ireland but live overseas, kennys.ie offers competitive pricing and free worldwide postage. My Diary page, which I update regularly, will keep you posted on what’s happening and inform you of any upcoming events.
I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment on the What You Think page – or if you want to send me an email, use the Talk to Me page. Us writers can be solitary souls, so it’s always nice to get a bit of human contact, even if it’s only online!