Books I wish I’d written

In no particular order, here’s five young adult books I wish I’d written. My dream is to be on someone’s ‘Books I wish I’d written’ list.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. See my first blog entry. Conor’s mother is dying of cancer, and he is visited by an ancient, terrible monster. The combination of artwork and story in this book are beautiful, powerful, and incredibly moving. It has echoes for me of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man.

The Writing on the Wall by Lynne Reid Banks. I read this when I was about 13 or 14 and from that day on wanted to write for young adults. Lynne Reid Banks is a huge influence on my writing, and Tracey and her unsuitable punk boyfriend Kevin have been lurking behind my writing ever since. Check out the fabulous 80s cover design on my copy!

Skellig by David Almond. David Almond is one of my absolute favourite writers, and for a long time Skellig was one of my absolute favourite books. He’s almost outdone himself recently with My Name is Mina so it was a tough call, but I have to stick with Skellig for old time’s sake.

Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty. I once chose an Arvon course purely because Berlie Doherty was the guest speaker. Dear Nobody is the story of the impact of an accidental pregnancy on a teenage couple, and couldn’t be more sensitive, believable and enduring.

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls.This was Sally’s first novel and boy oh boy do I wish I had a first novel in me like this one. About a young boy dying of leukaemia, it had me in floods of tears by the end. I emailed to tell her how much I’d loved it and she sent a lovely encouraging email back, so she’s a nice person as well as a brilliant author (grrr).


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