Cath started writing while on maternity leave and initially created the Sal Kilkenny series about a Manchester-based Private Investigator with a young daughter, who shares a house with a single father and his son. She also founded the crime writers group Murder Squad with Ann Cleeves and other Northern authors.
Wanting to branch out from writing in the first person, Cath developed a book about a female DCI, which initially failed to sell. Around the same time she was in discussions with Granada about developing the Sal Kilkenny stories for TV. This also failed to move forward, but led to the commissioning of Blue Murder. Cath wrote the pilot episodes, one episode per series, and the tie-in novels, while at the same time writing more Sal Kilkenny, along with Trio, a novel about adoption.
Wanting to write something different again, Cath came up with a number of standalone novels for a new publisher, in which she focussed more on the effects of crime and moral decisions rather than on the solving of crimes, the first being The Kindest Thing .
In the middle of this writing phase, Cath was contacted and asked if she wanted to write a Scott & Bailey prequel novel. Having loved the series, she agreed in spite of having two very tight deadlines to stick to (one for the book she was already writing, and one for three months' time for the new project). Having previously worked with Di Taylor on Blue Murder helped, and Cath got a lot of background information from the series' creators as well as ongoing support from her writers group and her family. This all led to the publication of Dead to Me, which I reviewed recently.
Cath has since written two more Scott & Bailey novels, set between the first and second, and second and third, series, respectively.
Definitely an author I need to read more of, and also a thoroughly entertaining speaker.