Cathrine Mahoney: From breakfast radio to book author


As anyone who’s been through a marriage break up might attest, the months immediately afterwards can be a dark and lonely place.

Harder still, when the person you’ve just split up with happens to be one Australia’s highest profile sporting stars.

No-one knows this better than radio publicist, podcaster, mum and now successful author Cathrine Mahoney.

Even as a self-confessed over-sharer, the breakdown of Cathrine’s marriage to former rugby league great Andrew Johns was more public than she was used to.

Cathrine tells Radio Today that joining Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa team as publicist not long after the split was a godsend.

“The pure joy of working on the Sydney breakfast show helped get me out of bed. I say there isn’t anyone except for Tom Hardy that I would get up that early for, other than the F&W gang.”

She also loved the office music selection.

“Half the week the office had Nova on. the other half Smooth. I was in heaven.”

“And don’t get me started on the constant free food we got delivered to the show – who doesn’t want a burrito or donut at 8.15am?!”

Now Cathrine’s life journey – the good, the bad and the  hilarious – is captured in the pages of her new book Currently Between Husbands, which she describes as ‘Bridget Jones meets Eat Pray Love, but with less yoga, bigger undies and more vodka!’

Cathrine quit her day job to chase her literary dream. But making the switch from radio publicist to full-time writer didn’t happen overnight.

“It took a few years, a fair bit of courage and me squirrelling away a bit of my mortgage money before I made the leap.”

Media releases aside, the first place Cathrine began writing was on Facebook and Instagram, where she noticed her lengthy posts seemed to make people laugh.

Cathrine migrated her writing to a website and utilised the media connections she’d forged through her work as a publicist.

She pitched ideas to various women’s and family websites, and soon scored herself a newspaper column.

“I was getting my writing confidence up and being paid to share my stories, but I really wanted to write a book. I thought I could do that juggling breakfast hours as Fitzy & Wippa’s publicist but was always too tired in the couple of hours spare I had before school pick-ups.”

“It was when two people close to me were diagnosed with cancer and the realisation hit that life can be cut short at any time that I decided to make the leap.”

“I left my lovely Nova family in August 2019 and less than three years later my first book hit the shelves on June 1st.”

Tim Ross and Amanda Keller wrote forewords for the book, and both were there for the recent launch at Sydney’s Genovese Coffee House.

“I have been lucky enough to have called Tim Ross a friend now for over 20 years. Tim and his wife Michelle are like family to me, and the pair saw me through all the bumpy times when my marriage ended.”

Her treasured friendship with Keller was one of life’s unexpected gifts.

“One of the things I did when I left Nova was to start a podcast cunningly called ‘So, I Quit My Day Job’. The pod documented my journey to follow my book dream and every week I would chat to someone else who had made the career leap.”

“During lockdown I included an extra episode a week called ‘Around The Grounds.’ I kept the episode running even when we were out of lockdown and Amanda was on my dream hit list.”

“She gave the best pod! We hit it off and that was the start of a really magic friendship.”

When Sydney’s long lockdown hit, Cathrine and Amanda were within one another’s five kilometre radius, so they hit the local dog park every Friday.

“This was the same time I was writing my first draft. I loved trying out my material on Amanda.”

Cathrine says she’s been blown away by the response to Currently Between Husbands, from women and men alike.

“It is great when people you know read and enjoy it but when complete strangers take the time to DM you it’s pretty special. One reader said it made her laugh, cry and spit out her wine.”

Cathrine’s advice to others thinking about chasing their dream? Start a side hustle.

“See if you really like what you are hoping to do and by trying it as a side hustle you can potentially make money on the side.”

And don’t be afraid to ask advice from someone who’s already successfully doing what YOU want to do.

“I find most people are giving with their time and you might end up with a mentor or new friend in the same space you want to be in.”

In a nutshell, it’s a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“Just start! Things might change and evolve from your original idea but you’ll never know until you stop procrastinating.”

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