How drama teacher quit her day job after securing a book deal

 Cat Weldon

Ipswich author Cat Weldon's debut novel, How to be a Hero, was published by Macmillan Children's Books - Credit: Cat Weldon

Ipswich author Cat Weldon quit her job as a drama teacher after winning a book deal for her How to be a Hero children's story.

Mrs Weldon, a mum-of-two, and former scriptwriter, signed the deal for a trilogy with Macmillan Children's Books just before the pandemic hit, and left the profession before her colleagues were forced to turn to online classes.

Macmillan Children's Books/Cat Weldon

The first How to be a Hero book - Credit: Macmillan Children's Books/Cat Weldon

The first in the Norse mythology and Anglo-Saxon history-inspired trilogy was published in January, with her second novel Land of Lost Things, coming out on July 8.

This latest children's book tells the story of unlikely hero Whetstone and trainee Valkyrie Lotta, who are on a quest to find Whetstone's long-lost father.

Mrs Weldon said: "It's not all pointed helmets and beer swigging. 


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"I've always found Norse mythology very interesting. They are so well known and have survived all this time. 

"I really like to take an aspect and expand on it so it feels so much more connected."

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In the midst of Land of Lost Things it's the end of the world, Ragnarok, and features one of her "favourite" moments when Viking god Loki sails on to battle other deities like Thor. 

The second How to be a Hero book The Land of Lost Things 

The second How to be a Hero book The Land of Lost Things - Credit: Macmillan Children's Books/Cat Weldon

The trickster god sails on Naglfara, a boat made entirely from the fingernails and toenails of the dead. 

"It's just so unusual," she said. "Like is it whole nails or cuttings?"

"And everything is so specific [in Norse mythology] like at the end it's this person fighting this person. 

"Everyone basically dies except a few people."

The one thing she has never really understood is why Loki keeps being let back in to join the other gods. 

"He just causes chaos all the time," she added. 

Cat Weldon was a teacher at St Felix School in Reydon, Chantry High School in Ipswich, and Woodbridge School

Cat Weldon was a teacher at St Felix School in Reydon, Chantry High School in Ipswich, and Woodbridge School - Credit: Cat Weldon

Mrs Weldon, who was a teacher for 10 years in secondary schools St Felix School in Reydon, Chantry High School in Ipswich, and Woodbridge School, added she would not have known how to teach drama remotely after leaving her job 18 months ago. 

"There is a lot of group work in drama. I would have got them to do soliloquies."

The 39-year-old is going back to her roots by offering free virtual author visits to any school in Suffolk. She also hopes to arrange book signings soon at local bookshops.

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