Describe your book to us in one sentence?
A tale of teenage love and death set in the ordinary streets of Tyneside, on the beautiful beaches of Northumberland, and in the dark caverns of the afterlife.
What does it mean to be on the first YA Book Prize shortlist?
I’m totally delighted. This is a really important new prize which publicises and celebrates the wonderful work that’s being written and published for young adults today.
Why do you think your book should win?
When I was writing it, I felt that it was singing its way out of me. I guess I think it’s brave, emotional, experimental. It's set in the modern world but asks an age-old question: could a love be so strong that it overcomes death itself?
What is your all time favourite YA book?
Nothing, an amazing, disturbing, beautiful novel by the Danish writer Janne Teller.
What is special about YA in the UK and Ireland?
Fine books, fine stories, fine writers. They show that the pessimists – "kids don't read, books are dead, blablabla" – are very boring and very wrong
Next week: Keren David