Caroline O’Donoghue

Posted by Sue Leonard on Monday 30th July 2018

Graduating from UCC, Caroline emigrated to London, working on film sets, in recruitment agencies, and doing bar work whilst pitching as a freelance writer. Now a contributing editor for, she writes for a variety of publications.

“Last year I made my living from writing,” she says.

She also runs a blog website, and has been writing short stories.

“I was always entering short story competitions, but I never heard back from any of them, and eventually I got sick of it. A few agents got in touch with me, suggesting I write a book in the style of my journalism, and one read my short stories, and said, ‘Fiction is your thing.’

The idea for the debut came in 2014.

“I wrote it in 2016 when I was going through a breakup, and had spare time and emotional energy,” she says. “It took six months, but when I’d sold it, I had to do a big rewrite. It went through 11 drafts.”

Who Is Caroline O’Donoghue 

Date of birth: 1990, in Rochestown, Cork

Education:  Scoil Mhuire, Cork, then Hewitt College; University College, Cork, English.

Home: London.

Family: In London, boyfriend, Gavin, and Jack Russell, Sylvie.

The Day Job:  Fulltime Writer; occasional editor.

In Another Life: “I’d love to be one of those horsey women, and be around ponies all day. My happiest moments were at my cousin’s stables.”

Favourite Writers: Daniel Mallory Ortberg; Lorrie Moore; Patricia Highsmith; Daphne Du Maurier; Nora Ephron; Nuala O’Faolain.

Second Novel: “I’ve finished the first draft. It’s a murder mystery.”

Top Tip: “Don’t get bogged down in logistical details; don’t over complicate. Just write the story.”

Web: Twitter: @Czaroline

The Debut: Promising Young Women. Virago: €15.99 Kindle: €9.49

In her twenties, Jane Peters breaks up with her long-term boyfriend and feels adrift. A junior in an ad agency, she blogs as an agony aunt. Then promotion propels her into a glitzy world, and she becomes the other woman. But the costs are high.

“I love it when people say, ‘I wish I had read the book when I was that age, because I’d have known other people were making the same mistakes I was.’”

The Verdict: Brilliant! Fresh, smart, darkly funny, and timely. An absolute must read.


Published in The Irish Examiner on 23rd June.

© Sue Leonard. 2018

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