Debut novel from Cat Walker (1980-87)

After leaving Scarborough College in 1987 Cat spent the next 11 years as a bit of an eternal student at the University of Exeter, playing a lot of hockey and getting a doctorate in economic psychology. From there she went to work in the charity world, doing something worthy in an office in London, but it wasn’t quite as fulfilling as she’d hoped. So, in 2006 Cat decided to go travelling to give herself some space to decide her next move in life. This was a life-changing experience which she blogged about at the time, to the great amusement of her friends and family. Cue the call that “ You should write a book about it”. So she did! She then spent the next 13 years trying to get it published, and failing. Cat consoled herself with the fact that JK Rowling was rejected by dozens of publishers before making it big with Harry Potter, and ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ got more than a 100 rejections before becoming a bestseller. And she still had her day job as a researcher. Publishing her novel was on every New Year’s Resolutions list she’d made for a dozen years, so as ‘lucky number thirteen’ came around she decided that enough was enough and sent it out to two last publishers. The first one followed the herd and said no… but the very last one said yes! So her mantra for any budding writer (or anyone attempting to do anything really) is NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!

The Scoop was published on March 19th 2020 by RedDoor Press (https://reddoorpress.co.uk/books/the-scoop/). It’s also available on Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith online as a paperback and e-book for Kindle and Kobo, and in all good bookshops (shopping at hive.co.uk supports independent bookshops).

The novel is described by the comedian Zoe Lyons as “A wonderful tale of journeys, both geographical and emotional, that will keep you entertained at every turn”, The Scoop is a book about life’s big questions: Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What can we learn from others? How do we live a good life? But it’s couched in the stories of three very different characters and describes their personal journeys from uncertainty to… well, let’s just say, less uncertainty, with a lot of humour!

Cat hopes that every reader will recognise something of themselves in the characters and their endeavours. Casey, the main character, is a thirty-something gay girl whose life is a mess. Her job bores her, her parents confuse her, and she has repeated nightmares about her ex-girlfriend. In a moment of madness she packs in her job and plans an adventure with her schoolfriend, long-time lad Danny. What she didn’t plan for was an extra passenger, in the shape of Danny’s estranged twelve-year-old son, Ari who has troubles of his own. The three of them are thrown together for an intense rollercoaster ride in Alice – a converted bright pink ice cream van – through some of the most beautiful and dangerous places in the world,  from Tulse Hill to Tibet.

“Perfect escapism from all the craziness surrounding us all at the minute” is how one book reviewer summarised it, adding: “I feel like I’ve actually grown as a person for reading this book.”

Here’s a brief excerpt from the Acknowledgements:

“My writing vehicle would probably never have got out of the starting grid if it weren’t for a number of inspiring teachers early on in my life, particularly Mrs Lindsey-Jane Griffin, Dr Richard Wilkinson and Mrs Ruth Macdonald who helped me move from stabilisers to a big girl writing (and thinking) bike.”

You can also read more at Cat’s new website: https://catwalkerauthor.com/