Christina McKenna is an author who was born and grew up in Draperstown, Northern Ireland. She attended the Belfast College of Art where she obtained an honours degree in Fine Art and studied postgraduate English at the University of Ulster. In 1986, she left Northern Ireland and spent ten years teaching both these subjects in Madrid, Istanbul, and Milan.
McKenna was, at the same time, pursuing a successful career as a painter. She mounted several exhibitions of her work, both as a solo artist and in group context when abroad, but also on her return to Northern Ireland.
- My Mother Wore a Yellow Dress (2004 Neil Wilson Publishing, Glasgow, Scotland) is a memoir that charts her struggle to make sense of the hidebound Catholicism of her childhood, and how art and poetry freed her to follow a more spiritual path. At present McKenna is reworking and updating this title for publication in 2014.
- The Dark Sacrament (2006 Gill & Macmillan, Dublin) co-authored with her husband, David M. Kiely, contains nine contemporary cases of exorcism in Ireland. A special American edition was published in October 2007 by HarperOne, San Francisco. It contains additional material.
- Ireland's Haunted Women (2010 Poolbeg Press, Dublin) is a collection of true-life ghost stories set in the Ireland of the present day. The cases range from the bizarre to the utterly chilling as Christina faithfully records the testimony of ten women visited by the paranormal. In contrast to other collections in the genre, all the cases are told here for the first time.
- The Misremembered Man',' her first novel, is set in rural Northern Ireland in 1974. It's a tragi-comic work, which charts the progress of a lonely farmer in his attempts to find a wife. All the while he is pursued by dark ghosts from a less-than-happy childhood.
The novel was rejected by every notable publisher in Ireland and the UK. "After the thirty-fourth rejection I stopped counting," says McKenna. As a last resort she decided to try her luck Stateside. "It was the same old story. Again I lost count of the number of houses who said 'no'. But my tireless agent at the time, Bill Contardi, would not give up and continued sending it out. We were down to the last two when, finally, a small house in Connecticut, the Toby Press, said 'yes'." In 2009 the hardback version was published.
The Toby Press ceased trading in 2010 and the novel might have sunk without trace had Amazon Encore not stepped in. They published the paperback version of the novel in May 2011.
Since 2011 "The Misremembered Man" has sold well in excess of 300,000 copies, garnered over 2,000 reviews, held the No1 slot in Literary Fiction on Amazon.com during the Spring of 2013, has been translated into German with a Spanish translation in the pipeline. Contrary to press reports, the film rights to this book have not been sold and are still up for grabs.
Her latest novel, "The Disenchanted Widow", sequel to "The Misremembered Man", was published on 27 August 2013.