Cathy’s Book is a young adult novel with alternative reality game elements by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, illustrated by Cathy Brigg. It was first published September 12, 2006. It includes an evidence packet filled with letters, phone numbers, pictures, and birth certificates, as well as doodles and notes written by Cathy in the page margins.
In a framing device, young and artistic Cathy left the book for Emma, her best friend, so that the latter can use the clues provided and figure out where Cathy went. The story begins when Cathy is dumped by her boyfriend, Victor. The next morning she notices a strange mark on her arm, but sets it aside as a spider bite. She and Emma later determine that the mark on her arm is in fact a needle mark from a blood test Victor performed on Cathy. While trying to confront Victor about the blood test, she encounters various members of the mythical, immortal, Chinese Eight Ancestors, as well as adventure and mystery. It also includes phone numbers which readers can call in order to leave a message for Bianca, Cathy, Victor, Emma, and even Tsao’s business, Airwell Organisation.
Cathy’s Book has a following online of over 1,000 members, on the website. On the website, readers/players discuss their theories about where Cathy ends up after the book, where Victor is, whether Cathy’s father is dead or alive, as well as many, many others. Though the book was aimed at an audience of teen girls, the following includes all ages and genders.
This idea has been used by many different things now, especially books where the readers can go discuss their thoughts on the book in an online forum. It gets the book off of the shop shelf and into the internet where it can gain support and new readers. Trans-media is something I must do with my photography, I must find ways to get my work seen by many people to get my name out there.