Bath Picks: Sarah Crossan, Sarah Benwell and Virginia Bergin


So I made my first visit to the Bath Children's Literature Festival and saw three great YA authors talking about their books.

There are lots of events to see over this week and as soon as I saw Virginia Bergin's name on this one it had to be my first pick. I read both of her books from Netgalley, cover to cover without wanting to stop, and YA books are just a fantastic area of fiction.

First thing I'll note... to be a good YA author you have to have wonderful boots... evidently!

Each author has a very different style, and a very different manner.

Sarah Crossan is an exceptional speaker, confident and a little bit wacky. I will admit that contemporary/family fiction is not generally my thing, but hearing Sarah talk about this one made me have a change of heart. Listening to her process was very interesting, and some readers will be happy to know that you don't necessarily have to do much research to bring a book to life [although we really do appreciate it when they do]. Her latest book is One, and features conjoined twins Grace and Tippi. Their lives are about to change as they move from home schooling into the real and sometimes cruel "regular" school. What will they find once they get there, friends? Love?

Virginia Bergin gave some great insights into Ruby from her Rain duology... she did also mention she always sort of thought there'd be a third book... cue me jumping up and down gleefully clapping, but we shan't get our hopes up yet! It's wonderful to hear the writing perspective from different authors, she was very organised and had a time line planned for her novel, and then Ruby came along and she wasn't having any of it. I guess you just don't know what you've got until you put your characters into their setting.

Sarah Benwell brought forward some very interesting points about how teens [everyone on some level] can use the internet to help them feel less isolated. The reality is that everyone is different on the internet and has that ability to find confidence they never thought they had. Sarah's book explores the culture of Japanese teenager Sora as he turns to his new friends for hope and strength.

I'm off to find myself some new boots... it can't hurt!

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