Catherine Ryan Howard

Catherine writes from Ireland and talks a lot about self-publishing. Her posts are fun and informative. @cathryanhoward


Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin

Credit: City Headshots Dubli

Catherine was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982.

Her debut thriller, Distress Signals, is out now in the UK and Ireland (Corvus/Atlantic) and the USA (Blackstone). An Irish Times and USA Today bestseller, it was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger 2017 and the Books Are My Bag IBA Crime Novel of the Year 2016. It also won Best Mystery at the Independent Press Awards (USA) 2017. Pre-publication, Distress Signals was optioned for television by Jet Stone Media. Find out more about the book here. 

Catherine’s second thriller, The Liar’s Girl, was released in the UK/Ireland and the USA in March 2018. The Irish Independent said ‘solid plotting … propels The Liar’s Girl forward at a terrific pace. In this, only her second book, Catherine Ryan Howard has certainly pulled off, with remarkable confidence, the notoriously difficult task of surpassing a debut novel that was met with critical acclaim and garlanded with awards.’

Catherine started her writing career self-publishing non-fiction – two light-hearted travel memoirs, followed by the obligatory ‘how to’. She became known for dispensing particularly pragmatic self-publishing advice, speaking on the subject for the likes of Faber Academy, the Irish Writers’ Centre, Guardian Masterclasses and others. But her goal was always to write crime fiction and to get published.

Before all that, Catherine worked as an administrator for a travel company in the Netherlands, a campsite courier in France (very briefly) and a front desk agent in a Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida. For her entire adolescence she was obsessed with the idea of becoming a BSL4 virologist and she still wants to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up. She is currently finishing a BA in English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and working on her third thriller.

Along with Carmel Harrington (The Woman at 72 Derry Lane, Cold Feet: The Lost Years) and Hazel Gaynor (The Cottingley Secret, Last Christmas in Paris), Catherine is also a founding member of The Inspiration Project, a ‘writing retreat with a difference’. Find out more about their next event here.

For more, find Catherine on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or sign up to her mailing list. You can also read a Q&A with her here.

(Author headshot credit Steve Langan at

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