Catrin Collier

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Catrin Collier
Catrin Collier - colour.jpg
Karen Jones

Pontypridd, Wales
Other names
  • Karen Watkins
  • Katherine John
  • K. A. John
  • Katherine Hardy
  • Caro French
AgentMarjacq Scripts

Karen Watkins (née Jones, born 1948),[1] writing as Catrin Collier, is a Welsh novelist, of East Prussian descent on her mother's side, known for her historical works, especially those in the 'Hearts of Gold' series, set in her home town of Pontypridd between 1930 and 1950,[1] the first of which was adapted as a BBC drama in 2003. She also writes under the pen names Katherine John[2]/ K. A. John (crime novels),[3] Katherine Hardy[4] (novelisations of television programmes)[3] and Caro French[2] (modern fiction).[3]

As well as novels, she writes short stories, plays and non-fiction,[3] and has had work published in magazines including published in Woman, Woman's Own and Woman's Weekly.[3]

She is a member of Swansea Writers' Group, which encouraged her from the outset of her career before she had published a novel.[5]

Ty Catrin, an adult education centre in Pontypridd, was named in her honour in 2002.[6] She is represented by the literary agency Marjacq Scripts.[7]

Early life[edit]

Her mother, Gerda Salewski, was born in Allenstein, East Prussia, in 1926.[1] Her father, Glyn Jones was a Welsh Guardsman serving in Germany when he met Gerda.[1] They married in Pontypridd in July 1947.[1] Collier was born there in 1948 and grew up in the town.[1]

Her book One last Summer is based on war-time diaries kept by her mother and maternal grandmother.[1] and is recommended by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for young people wanting to learn about the Holocaust .[8] It was a 2008 finalist for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Book of the Year.[7]

As a comprehensive school teacher, she taught English and drama to A level in schools in Swansea and West Glamorgan.[3]

After living in Germany[3] and America,[9] Collier now lives on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea.[10]


In 2003, Hearts of Gold was adapted by BBC Wales as a two-part drama, directed by Richard Laxton and co-written by Matthew Baylis.[11] BBC Wales' head of drama Matthew Robinson described her as "the Catherine Cookson of Wales".[12]


Colliers work includes:[2]

  • 'Hearts of Gold' series
    • —— (1992). Hearts of Gold. Century. ISBN 978-0712646062.
    • —— (1993). One Blue Moon. Century. ISBN 978-0712698238.
    • —— (1994). A Silver Lining. Century. ISBN 978-0712658454.
    • —— (1995). All That Glitters. Century. ISBN 978-0712658508.
    • —— (1996). Such Sweet Sorrow. Century. ISBN 978-0712675086.
    • —— (1997). Past Remembering. Century. ISBN 978-0712675130.
    • —— (1998). Broken Rainbows. Century. ISBN 978-0712679459.
    • —— (2000). Spoils of War. Century. ISBN 978-0712684736.
  • Swansea trilogy
  • 'Beggars & Choosers' series
  • Tiger Bay
  • —— (2007). One Last Summer. Orion. ISBN 978-0752885773.
  • —— (2008). Magda's Daughter. Orion. ISBN 978-0752885858.
  • —— (2009). Black Eyed Devils. Accent Press. ISBN 978-1906373610.
  • —— (2011). Bobby's Girl. Allison & Busby. ISBN 978-0749009298.

As Katherine John[edit]

As K. A. John[edit]

As Katherine Hardy[edit]

As Caro French[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Catrin Collier – novels". Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "COLLIER, CATRIN – List of Writers". The Writers of Wales Database. Literature Wales. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Catrin Collier: Books, Biogs, Audiobooks, Discussions". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Catrin Collier". ContactAnAuthor. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Catrin Collier". Marjacq Scripts. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Bibliography". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  8. ^ "One Blue Moon by Catrin Collier". Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Catrin Collier". Accent Press. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Hearts of Gold, Episode 2, "You've been found out"". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  11. ^ Deans, Jason (5 June 2002). "BBC snaps up 'new Catherine Cookson'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2013.

External links[edit]