YA Book Prize shortlisted author Dawn O'Porter answers our questions about her book, Goose. If you're #TeamGoose let us know in the comments or get in touch on Twitter.
Next week: Non Pratt, author of Trouble
Describe your book to us in one sentence?
An embarrassingly honest coming of age story about two very different girls, living very different lives, bound together by a friendship that they cannot live without.
What does it mean to be on the first YA Book Prize shortlist?
Everything. Writing is such a solitary experience. When in the midst of it it's impossible to imagine anyone reading your work, let alone loving it. To go through the process of creating a novel, and then have it recognised and appreciated is truly one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.
Why do you think your book should win?
Oh my! Because it doesn't skirt around the grim realities of the teenage experience. Because it holds a balance of tears and laughter. And because it hopefully bears a glimmer of reality for anyone who was ever a teenage girl. And because I reaaaaaallly want it to!
What is your all time favourite YA book?
I recently reread Forever by Judy Blume. I love it for its riskiness that still feels incredibly modern despite being 40 years old. I appreciate books that don't patronise, and I loved reading this as much as a 35 year-old.
What is special about YA in the UK and Ireland?
The wealth of imagination. The honesty. The community. I've loved getting to know other authors from this genre. They all want to encourage, educate and entertain young peoples minds, and what a privilege that is to do. To create such a colourful library of fiction that teenagers will reference for the rest of their lives.