Approaching the publication of her third book and her fortieth birthday (she insists she is still climbing, and definitely not over the hill), Catherine Daly could never be accused of settling for the quiet life. Having been raised in Dublin and Brussels, she had seen most of Europe by the time she left school, and school holiday summer jobs included working as a filing clerk in Dublin and teaching English to a Spanish family in Madrid.
On leaving school, she dabbled in Engineering for a year before switching to Pharmacy and this time she completed the course. She moved to the South of England to work in a hospital in Chichester where some of her more memorable responsibilities included re-hydrating cadaver tissue for transplant and supervising the care of medicinal leeches.
Despite the severe curtailment of free time because of having to work for a living, Catherine refused to give up travelling - switching her attentions to the continent of Africa. She explored the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in a ‘Desert Scorpion’, rode around the Pyramids of Giza on a ‘runaway’ horse pursued by a randy camel driver, and broke two Jeeps in her exploration of the game parks of Kenya. (After this experience, for some reason, she and her husband decided to fly rather than drive to the most remote national park.)
She returned to Ireland with her husband in 1996, ‘settled down’ and started a family. But before long her imagination took flight although her rucksack was pinned down by babies, nappies, breast pumps and sterilisers. She began writing in the spare room during nap-times or in the kitchen while liquidising lamb stew.