Kelly Creighton was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. An avid reader since no age, she always wanted to become an author (or an artist). Having tried her hand at the artist part, the thought of writing turned her head.
Fascinated by developmental psychology, as is evident in her books, Creighton studied Early Childhood Studies and worked mostly in the caring sector. In her 20s, and while raising a young family, she held tight the hope that one day she would write ‘that book’.
In 2012 she decided to do just that. Creighton signed up for every creative writing course and workshop she could. In 2014 she started up a literary journal called The Incubator which showcased the contemporary Irish short story, which Creighton edited for five years.
Her 2015 debut novel, the psychological thriller The Bones of It, was the San Diego Book Review Book of the Year and was longlisted for the Kate O’Brien prize. Set after the Good Friday Agreement, the novel about masculinity was taught on a political violence degree course in the States.
Creighton’s second book, the 2017 Edge Hill Prize longlisted and Saboteur Award shortlisted, Bank Holiday Hurricane was released to critical acclaim. The loosely linked short story collection was set home and abroad, and dealt with displacement and second chances.
Creighton’s third published fiction, and second novel, The Sleeping Season, was readers’ first introduction to the complex character that is Detective Inspector Harriet Sloane. The Sleeping Season had rave reviews and dealt, with dark humour, as is the Northern Irish way, with serious themes, like disability, stalking and domestic violence.
Her newest release, Problems with Girls (2020), is the second instalment in the DI Sloane series, set in East Belfast, rounding the series out as ‘distinctly feminist’. This book is about cyberbullying, consent and the invisibility of young women in Northern Ireland.
Creighton is the co-editor of a multi-genre Christmas short story anthology called Underneath the Tree, showcasing local genre writers. It features ghost stories, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and, of course, crime.
Creighton’s work has been published in over a hundred literary journals and featured in anthologies. She has been shortlisted, or runner-up, for many poetry and short story prizes. Creighton’s work has always been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
For the last few years she has mentored new writers and facilitated creative writing workshops in schools and for community groups. It is just about her favourite thing in the world. Creighton has also presented her work at numerous literary festivals in the UK, Ireland and America.
She lives in Co Down with her three dogs, two daughters, two sons, and one husband. She also lives in her imagination, drinks too much coffee and is addicted to true crime documentaries.
Find out what Kelly is currently reading on Goodreads