An English and French teacher, Caragh has written since she was small. She had her first child just after college but went back to do an HDip and has been teaching since.
“I sent a manuscript to Poolbeg years ago. They wrote back and said, “Keep going, you have promise.”
In 2011, Caragh wrote a book that she self-published on line.
“People liked it. The one book became three. I loved doing it, and felt that each book got better, but it felt like a hobby.”
The third book was, positively, reviewed in The Irish Examiner.
“I sent the review to two publishers and Poolbeg asked for the books.”
She worked on the trilogy with an editor, and it was rebranded as the Follow Your Heart trilogy and published on line.
“Poolbeg said they would publish Echoes of Grace traditionally. I was thrilled. It means so much to see it in the shops. It feels real.”
Caragh was inspired by Jilly Cooper.
“I love her humour, and the way she brings back characters in a new story as a cameo.”
Who is Caragh Bell?
Date of birth: 23rd September 1979, in West Cork.
Education: Mercy Heights, Skibbereen; University College Cork: English and French. UCC: HDip. Master’s in Education.
Family: Husband, John Daly. Fódhla,17, Aoibhe,13, Lughan7, Oscar 5, and Feidhlim,1.
The Day Job: English and French teacher at the Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty. “I love it.”
In Another Life: “I’d be a cellist in an orchestra.”
Favourite Writers: Shakespeare; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Emily Bronte; WB Yeats; Jilly Cooper; Sophie Kinsella.
Second Novel: “I’ve finished it. Set in New York, it’s about a dressmaker from Puerto Rico.”
Top Tip: “Just enjoy it. Getting published is important but so is remembering just why you are doing it. It’s for enjoyment. Take criticism on board but don’t let it rule you.”
The Debut: Echoes of Grace. Poolbeg: €9.99 Kindle: €4.55
With no memory of her mother, Grace, Aurora is delighted when her father remarries, making her part of a large family. Flash forward, and Aurora follows Grace into acting. Then secrets emerge, and she must reassess just who she is.
The Verdict: A fabulous read. Light, frothy, funny and fast moving.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 2nd February
© Sue Leonard. 2019