It's not just a book thing!
We’re delighted to introduce our newest blogger, Dan Gallienne, who has written this great post about Anthony McGowan, whom we are very honoured to welcome to the LitFest.
A quick glance at Anthony McGowan’s CV reveals some interesting accolades. He has won the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Catalyst Award (for Henry Tumour) but has also been longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Carnegie Medal (for The Knife That Killed Me). It’s not hugely unusual for an author to write fiction aimed at more than one audience of course, but it’s quite rare to be critically recognised within different fields. For good measure, he has also written two adult novels in his bid to leave no part of the UK literary scene unexplored.
Born in Manchester but now living in London, it seems that a Northern sense of humour pervades his work as he is able to infuse his stories with witty language that entertains readers of all ages. Some of his work benefits from transplanting this sense of ironic humour into a London setting and using it to lighten the mood of stories that can be dark and disturbing but are never dull.
The Knife That Killed Me, for example, is set in a London school and focuses on the serious issue of knife crime among inner-city youths, which McGowan noticed had become more commonplace in the modern era. How to address such a serious issue while maintaining an openness for new and returning readers was at the top of the author’s mind and it is this kind of creative insight that the audience at McGowan’s Guernsey Literary Festival appearance can expect to receive.
McGowan will be talking openly about his work and the creative process that has led to his novels gaining such critical acclaim. A hugely interesting author – he has previously worked as a bouncer, a civil servant and an Open University tutor, as well as having a PhD – this is a chance to learn what it is that inspires someone to write about a serial murderer of school pets, a boy with a talking brain tumour and a boy sent to hell.
As one of the most acclaimed young adult authors writing in Britain today, McGowan’s appearance is not to be missed for anyone with an interest in fiction that often pushes the boundaries that characterise the young adult genre.