In the tradition of Griffin & Sabine — the series of books that contained packages of letters that became best-sellers in the 1990s — Cathy’s Book includes a sleeve of letters, invitations, pictures and other ephemera that are actually clues to help readers solve the mystery of what happened to Cathy’s boyfriend.
But Cathy’s Book takes that concept further than most people would have thought possible only 10 years ago: The book and clues lead readers to voice-mail messages and the Internet. The characters have pages on MySpace.com, and a movie-style trailer for the book will be appearing on AOL and YouTube. One of the characters has a website with a chat forum where people can talk about the book.
The story exists on several different platforms, which its creators hope will appeal as much to technologically savvy teenagers as to those interested in the girl-loses-boy storyline.
The book was co-authored by an award-winning writer and a video-game developer. Sean Stewart, a native Texan who graduated from the University of Alberta with an English degree in 1987, has written numerous award-winning books, mostly fantasy and science fiction He wrote the words for Cathy’s Book after Jordan Weisman, the former creative director for Microsoft’s entertainment division, developed the concept.
Cathy’s Book gave literary purists another reason to pause. The book’s publisher Running Press (part of Perseus Books Group) forged a marketing partnership with Cover Girl Cosmetics, owned by Proctor & Gamble. Cover Girl products such as Lipslicks lipstick are mentioned in the book.