E.V. Kelly

Posted by Sue Leonard on Friday 28th October 2022

Ellen grew up in a household of writers.

“My mum wrote short stories, just for herself, and my dad had some poetry published.”

After college, Ellen became a researcher for the health board – working with young people and families with addiction issues.

“I was a project manager, but combined this with my further studies. I won an RHA prize for academic writing.”

When she had submitted her PhD, Ellen did some freelance work from home, in order to be with her children.

In 2012, a story burning in her brain, Ellen entered the Penguin Ireland, RTE Guide competition, writing it on her phone.

“It gave me a lovely sense of freedom,” she says. “It was so different to academic writing.”

She was longlisted, and there was no turning back! She placed other stories, and gained a shortlisting at the Francis McManus Award and in 2018, gained a Hennessy Award. She wrote her novel when she joined a writing group. She completed it in late 2020, and her agent, Ivan Mulcahy swiftly sold it.

 Who is E.V Kelly?

Place of Birth, Sheffield, but brought up in Dublin.

Education: Muckross Park in Donnybrook; University College Dublin, Social Science. MA and PhD in Sociology.

Home: Dun Laoghaire.

Family: Husband Emmet. Charlie, 21, Daniel, 19, Leo, 17, Myles, 16 and Felix, 13.

The Day Job: Working part time as a research officer with a Psychotherapy organisation.

In Another Life: “When my mum was pregnant with my brother, I decided to be an obstetrician. I changed my mind when my sister was doing medicine and I saw how tricky the training was. If there was no slog, I’d love to be one!”  

Favourite Writers: Deborah Levy; Raymond Carver; Anne Tyler; Laurie Moore; Elizabeth Strout; Javier Marias.

Second Novel: “I’ve started one, but I’m also working on a collection of short stories.”

Top Tip: “Be kind on yourself – and access support. There’s a well of it out there.”

Website:  www.airplaneinthesittingroom.com.   Twitter: @ellenvkelly

The Debut: Her Last Words. Quercus: €16.39.   Kindle: €1.16.

One sunny morning, when Cass watches her husband swim, she witnesses a shocking incident. She says nothing, as she tries to unravel exactly what happened.

The Verdict: Unputdownable. A beautifully written portrait of a family in crisis.  

Published in the Irish Examiner on 3rd September.

© Sue J Leonard. 2022.

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