Kelly Merritt is an author and culinary writer specializing in good news and topics that make people smile. Her writing and photography has appeared in Southern Living, Plate Magazine, Forbes Travel, OpenTable, San Antonio Express News, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, South Magazine, Sommelier Journal, Bespoke Concierge Magazine, Naples Daily News, GO AirTran In-flight Magazine, Living Luxe and Florida Weekly among numerous others.
Over the past 20 years, Kelly has written about Kenny Chesney, Jane Pauley, Sammy Hagar, Larry King, Tim Tebow, explorer and "Titanic" discoverer Robert Ballard, Michael Bolton, Denise Austin, Oscar de la Renta, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, soap star Walt Wiley, sports superstars Brian Urlacker, Justin Abdelkader and Tony Reyes, entertainers The Spinners, Mark Ballas, Patsy Cline, David Nail; celebrity designers Colin Cowie, Jeffrey Beers, Robert Courterier and Carlton Varney, celebrity chefs Wylie Dufresne, Jamie Oliver, David Burke, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Michelle Bernstein, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Christina Tosi and Tony Mantuano; members of rock bands Foreigner and Chicago; cast members of ‘Jersey Boys’, ‘Xanadu: the Musical’, ‘Les Miserables’, Cirque du Soleil; and, bestselling authors James Grippando, Sandra Brown, Heather Graham, Robert Dugoni, James Maccomber, Dakota Banks, Kathy Reichs, Alexandra Sokoloff, Tim Hallinan, Vicki Pettersson, J.D. Rhoades, Shane Gericke, Mario Acevedo, Michelle Gagnon, Kathleen Antrim, Steve Berry, Rip Gerber, Tim Maleeny and David Angsten among others.
Kelly and her husband, Capt. Kevin Merritt share a passion for helping animals through their rescue efforts a mission that calls them to direct their income and time to animals with the greatest need. This includes rescuing and rehabilitating retired hunting dogs and providing dignified end-of-life care. They have fostered, adopted or helped find forever homes for dozens of animals. In particular, they love senior animals who need a loving and safe place to live out their golden years and in some cases, their last days.
Helping others learn the craft of writing is also a special cause for Kelly. She has hosted writing workshops throughout the southeast and has been a recurring summer instructor at the University of North Carolina, Asheville teaching middle-grade and high-school writing for several years.
A strong supporter of mentoring and internships, Kelly has helped many aspiring writers launch their own careers. Other writers have repeatedly quoted Kelly as an expert in a variety of publications about writing, culinary and travel.
Kelly's books include "The Everything Family Guide to Budget Travel" (Simon and Schuster) and FLIGHT, about the adventures of fictitious travel writer Kate Carrington along with numerous books she has helped write for her freelance writing clients. She is a member of the North Carolina Writer’s Network, the North Carolina Writer’s Workshop, the Author’s Guild, International Thriller Writers Association and the Alliance of Independent Authors.