The line-up for Turning Point is now complete and I’m about to do the press release. In addition to the authors named in earlier posts (just scroll down), Graham Marks, author of the excellent How It Works will be chairing a session and Carnegie Prize winner Beverley Naidoo, (whose novel The Other Side Of Truth I’ve been teaching this week, while I’ve been reading its fine sequel, Web Of Lies) will appear on a panel about novels that deal with social issues. Publicist Justin Somper will be speaking about how to promote Young Adult fiction and Alison Waller will give the academic perspective. Sorting out the line-up hasn’t been easy, as I wanted to get a wide variety of writers of different generations. I also had to be careful not to over-represent particular publishers. There are loads of writers – many of them friends or acquaintances – who I could happily have asked to appear but didn’t, and I hope that I don’t fall out with anybody as a result. There are many Young Adult novelists (including some very distinguished ones) who are coming to the conference as delegates and may speak from the floor . About half of the places at the conference have already gone, despite the only national publicity being a flyer given out with Books For Keeps magazine. If you’re thinking of coming but haven’t made your mind up yet, I wouldn’t leave it too long. Register here.
I’ve just got advance copies of my latest novel, Denial, which is published on November 18th, and yesterday gave the first one to its dedicatee. I think it’s my best YA novel yet (I would say that, maybe, but it happens to be true) and it has a fantastic cover, which you can see in more detail here. The story is about a young woman whose schoolteacher father is accused of molesting one of his students. It’s my first YA fiction written in the first person, and my first novel set (mainly) in Sheffield, where I was born.