St Albans author gained inspiration while walking her dog

Kathryn Hitchins

Kathryn Hitchins - Credit: Archant

Daily dog walks in local fields inspired author Kathryn Hitchens to write her first novel - and get it published.

Kathryn Hitchins

Kathryn Hitchins - Credit: Archant

Mother of two Kathryn, who lives in St Albans, gave a talk about the novel entitled The Girl at the End of the Road at Waterstones in the city centre last week.

The former learning support assistant at Oaklands College, explained that she got the idea for the story while walking dog walking in the fields near Park Street.

She said: “Having commuted to London for over 15 years, it was the first time I’d really observed the changing of the seasons. Long buried creative juices began to stir and I began to conjure up stories as I walked, jotting down my ideas on my return.

“To my surprise, I managed to complete The Girl at the End of the Road in a couple of months at the beginning of 2012.”

The novel is a romance which weaves together plot lines involving care for the elderly, end of life issues and disability.

Kathryn said: “There are two dogs in the story – a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a pug – who are characters in their own right and have an important part to play in the plot.

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“It’s written from the point of view of Vincent Stevens, a victim of the credit crunch who loses everything he holds dear: high flying career, swanky flat, gym membership and trophy girlfriend.

“When he accidentally bumps into Sarah Penny, a girl who used to be in his class at school, disquieting memories emerge from his past – the person he used to be and the things he used to yearn for. Losing the superficial things he holds dear takes him on a road to a radically altered perspective on life.”

After sending it round to agents and publishers, and reaching number four on an online writing community, the book was picked up by independent publishers Instant Apostle in 2015 and was released on 24 March this year.