But Corrigan's mother had doubts about the Bay Area author's first book, "The Middle Place," about her family's love, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker.
"Well, Kelly, I love it, but I mean, who is going to want to read about us? We're not rich, we're not poor, we're not successful, we're not unsuccessful," said Corrigan, imitating her mom.
But it now has been on the New York Times best sellers list for 15 weeks, and her mom, Mary, is her biggest booster.
"For the last year and two months, my mother has been stopping by Borders," said Corrigan.
Mary has been waging a one-woman guerrilla marketing campaign that even the bookstore found funny. Borders taped her near her suburban Philadelphia home on her mission. She nabs her daughter's books from upstairs in the back ... takes them downstairs ...
"And puts them in a better place," Corrigan said. "Because that's what a good mother does, right?"
And a good mother also is the glue holding the family together when first Kelly, then her father were diagnosed with cancer.
"I can't even imagine what that year was like when both her daughter and her husband had cancer," Corrigan said. "She's a rock."
Kelly calls her mother's parenting style, "no tears, no nonsense."
She doesn't do a lot of the superficial stuff. She's not always telling you how lovely you are or what a good job you did. She's behind the scenes making your life better.
Much better. Now look where Borders has Corrigan's book: downstairs, front and center.
"It worked, it worked," Corrigan said.
Both Kelly and her father are healthy today.
And Mary keeps on plugging
"Have you read this book?" Mary asks a customer. "I hear it's very good."
Because that's what a good mother does.