Sarah Crossan, author of One (Bloomsbury), on her book and YA fiction.
What is One about?
One is about a set of conjoined teenage twins called Tippi and Grace who live in Hoboken, New Jersey. It’s about how they adapt to going to a high school for the first time, making friends and dealing with the world’s eyes on them, and also about a life-altering decision they must make when one of them becomes seriously ill.
What does it mean to be on the YA Book Prize shortlist?
Oh my word! I couldn’t believe it when the list was announced. One is written in verse, so not the most conventional form of writing. I’m just so pleased the judges felt it had more than a literary appeal.
Why do you think your book should win?
Ha! I think all the titles are fantastic and completely worthy. But perhaps, just perhaps, if a novel written in verse won the prize, we would have a situation where poetry written specifically for teens finds a commercial place in the UK market. I’m all for young people reading and feeling they own poetry. I’m utterly bored of the poetry snobs.
What is special about YA in the UK and Ireland?
It’s fearless. We have very little censorship and the quality of writing is world class. Publishers have also really responded to the campaign for diverse books in a way they haven’t in other countries.
What kind of YA books do you like to read?
A variety. It depends on what people are raving about. I tend to lean towards contemporary fiction and stand alones written by Irish and British authors. I haven’t read a lot of genre fiction, so that’s a goal for 2016. I’d also like to read some stuff in translation.