Author Photo Cat Hellisen writes fantasy for adults and children. She has lived in Cape Town,  Johannesburg, Knysna, and Nottingham, and currently lives in Fife, Scotland, where the forests and the fields and the Forth provide constant inspiration.

Cat grew up in a series of  libraries, and has always preferred reading to just about anything else. Even though as a child she assumed all writers were already dead, she figured that at some point they must have been alive and so she set out to write her own stories. (They were almost invariably about dogs. Magical dogs.) It took many years before she actually wrote something which  other people wanted to read.  Along the way, she discovered that having hobbies outside of books was actually a fun thing, and she has done belly dancing, archery, aikido, running, and figure skating.

Cat sold her first full-length novel, When the Sea is Rising Red in 2010. It’s a story about found family, class and magic and making difficult choices. It’s also about tea, sometimes.

Her children’s book Beastkeeper, a play on the old tale of Beauty and the Beast, was released February 3rd 2015. Cat likes to call it “A fairy tale for the loveless”, which makes it sound like she knows what it’s about. (She does, she just wants to see what you think.)

Her short stories have appeared in Tor.com, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, and Something Wicked, and in several anthologies ranging from Lovecraftian, to Steampunk, to African fiction. She won the Short Story Day Africa award in 2015 for “The Worme Bridge”.

She reviews books for print, and provides reader reports for authors and publishers.

Her agent is Vaughne Lee Hansen, of the Virginia Kidd Agency, all publishing-related queries about Cat Hellisen’s work can be emailed here.

This picture of her is quite out of date, for reasons.

To contact Cat Hellisen: email cat at cathellisen dot com, twitter, or facebook.


This Is My World – July 13, 2011

Blog Critics – November 7, 2011

Something Wicked – January, 2012

Tonight – May 24, 2012

S.A. Partridge – June 11, 2012

It’s A Book Thing – June 29, 2012

Teen Librarian – August 1, 2012

Hypable – May 15, 2013

The Book Wars – October 9, 2013








9 thoughts on “ABOUT CAT HELLISEN”

  1. Afternoon Cat.
    It is always great to see a South African releasing an internation book, and I want to be one of them.
    The only small snag I have hit, is where can I have my manuscript edited? I have googled this and there are thousands of places/people/websites that offer to do it.
    Where do you recommend I go to have my book edited?
    Thanks very much

    1. Hi Shawn.

      I’m afraid I really don’t know much about hiring editors. You could try contacting local editor Nerine Dorman, and asking her about her fees. Best of luck

  2. Hello there, I recently found your book Beastkeeper in my recommendations and it looks really interesting! I was wondering if there was any way I could be sent the physical copy of your book in exchange for an honest review that I’ll make sure to post on all book related sites I’m apart of as well as Amazon.

    If not, that’s okay. I just thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. ^^

    Thank you very much,

    1. Hi Holly,

      Thanks for your interest in Beastkeeper. The best people to speak to about review copies will be my publishers (Henry Holt). They are the ones in charge of sending out copies for review. Sadly, I think all will have already been sent out by now as they normally do that prior to the book’s launch. Possibly your best bet now is to go ask your library to order in a copy for you. (Which would be great, so please do if you can!).


  3. Hi! So I came across your book “Beastkeeper” on goodreads and it seemed really good, but when I ran into the bookstore looking for your book they didn’t have it. I even asked customer service and they said they didn’t carry your book, it made me really sad. So by any chance can you please make your book available in the Philippines?

  4. Hello, I just wanted to say that I read your book Beastkeeper, and it really inspired me to do a painting. I am a long time painter and have had trouble coming up with ideas, but the beautiful words in your book have opened a new door for me. So thank you.

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