Bree O'Mara was on her way to Britain to sign a book deal when the Libyan plane she was traveling in crashed and killed everyone except a child on Wednesday.
South African O'Mara, 42, was trying to make up for lost time.
She was due to attend the London Book fair in April but missed the opportunity because the volcanic ash cloud prevented her from flying into England.
This was her second chance to get her book deal.
O'Mara's mother eloped from Ireland to South Africa with her father and O'Mara was born in Durban.
On her website, O'Mara wrote that her mother’s eloping "caused an outrage in the Emerald Isle."
O'Mara and 92 other passengers and 11 crew members perished in the Airbus A330 crash on Afriqiyah Airlines on Wednesday.
The plane crashed minutes after leaving Johannesburg and disintegrated.
A 10-year-old Dutch boy is the sole survivor and is being treated in Tripoli hospital for his injuries.
O'Mara had a scheduled meeting with director of 30 Degrees South Publishers, Kerrin Cocks, to sign a contract for her latest novel "Nigel Watson, Superhero."
Cocks had worked with O'Mara before.
She received her book deal with 30 Degrees South after she won a readers' choice prize in South Africa's Citizen newspaper.
O'Mara used live in England, but later moved to South Africa to be with her chef husband, Christopher Leach.
She lived in Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West Province part of South Africa.
Said Cocks, "Bree really was the most incredible person.
"From the first moment we met her she had this incredible red hair and this personality to match it.
"She supported every event we did. She was really this incredible person and she was funny. She liked to look at the lighter side of life."
O'Mara was one of six South Africans on the plane, and was very proud of her Irish heritage and traveled on an Irish passport.
Before taking up a pen, O'Mara worked as a flight attendant in the Middle East and then moved to London in the 1990s to work in the film industry.
In 2004 she lived with the Masal tribes in Tanzania where she planned to produce a documentary of their way of life and traditions.
Funeral plans are being put into place today.
"She really had an adventurous way of life," Cocks said.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore