Debut novel shares tale of lonely farm life

Catherine Simpson.

Catherine Simpson.

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A former pupil of Garstang High School will release her new book which tells the tale of a boy with autism.

Catherine Simpson, who is now a debut novelist, will release ‘Truestory’ on September 17 by Saltire Publisher of the Year, Sandstone Press.

The novel tells the tale of a boy with autism who refuses to leave the isolated Lancashire farm where he was born and interacts with the world through his computer.

He dreams of one day leaving the farm and following his map all the way to Lancaster.

Catherine, 51, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Winmarleigh, near Garstang – a farm which has been in the family for four generations.

Catherine said: “The Lancashire landscape and farming life provided a lot of the inspiration for the novel.

“Farming can be a lonely life – and with my character having autism, he is doubly cut off.

“The novel is upbeat, though, because no matter how trapped we feel there are always ways to escape.”

After studying at Garstang High School, Catherine went on to gain a journalism qualification at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. The mum-of-two now works as a freelance journalist and is based near Edinburgh.

The opening chapters of Truestory won her a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013. Catherine has been listed in many writing competitions; her short stories have been included in various anthologies and magazines and she has performed her work at a number of festivals including the Edinburgh International Book Festival.