Bloomsbury asked me to blog about the journey from writing my manuscript to winning the inaugral Bath Children's Novel Award, with my YA novel, Hurts So Good. What’s it like to win? Thrilling. And terrifying. Now, more than ever, I need to be clear in my head, about what I want to write. And why.
My manuscript evolved from an exercise on the Bath Spa MA Writing For Young People. We had to show character through action and dialogue, I thought about the worse thing my protagonist could do, and for me, that was abducting a baby.
The story of teenagers, stealing a baby caused controversy, from the get go. Violence is not my bag, so Hurts So Good is a psychological thriller, with the Nordic Noir emphasis on family and setting. I wanted readers to empathise with 16-year-old Ellie, not judge her actions, but to feel compassion and dread for her. The Norwegian Fjords and ancient forests, with wolves, gives my YA story its vibe of jeopardy and beauty.