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 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]

Early life[edit]

Collier is of East Prussian descent, with her mother, Gerda Salewski, 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 were married in Pontypridd in July 1947.[1] Collier was born there in 1948 and grew up in the town.[1]

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


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 .[5] It was a 2008 finalist for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Book of the Year.[6]


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.[7] BBC Wales' head of drama Matthew Robinson described her as "the Catherine Cookson of Wales".[8]

Other work[edit]

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]

Personal life[edit]

After living in Germany[3] and America,[9] Collier now lives on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea.[10] She is represented by the literary agency Marjacq Scripts.[6]

She is a member of Swansea Writers' Group, which encouraged her from the outset of her career before she had published a novel.[11]

Ty Catrin, an adult education centre in Pontypridd, was named in her honour in 2002.[12]


Collier's 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. ^ "Bibliography". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Catrin Collier". Marjacq Scripts. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Hearts of Gold, Episode 2, "You've been found out"". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  7. ^ Deans, Jason (5 June 2002). "BBC snaps up 'new Catherine Cookson'". The Guardian. 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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Catrin Collier". ContactAnAuthor. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013.

External links[edit]