‘Both Rupert Wallis and Sally Gardner (author of Maggot Moon) have written novels with dark hearts. Rupert’s debut, The Dark Inside, and Sally’s latest, Tinder, are unsettling and ambiguous…These are subtle, challenging books.’
On Saturday Rupert Wallis and Sally Gardner spoke at the Edinburgh Festival about their latest novels, and about the darker, genre-bending aspects that they can explore when writing Young Adult fiction. Both authors agreed that there are very few rules with YA fiction, so it gives them the freedom to address difficult, sometimes harrowing issues.
They also discussed the discrimination they’d felt at writing YA. Sally told the audience that someone had asked her whether he would enjoy her books: ‘I’m an adult so would I enjoy YA (or young adult) fiction?’ She responded ‘well, are you an OA? (an old adult?)’
Rupert very much enjoyed his first book festival and commented on how important it is for authors to do these events:
‘I was very lucky to be talking with Sally Gardner who took me under her wing and gave me a few tips before we went on stage – make the audience laugh! The hour went very quickly and the questions were good from the audience. I think they were interested in the fact that I discussed having given up reading when I was a teenage boy and why that was. The whole experience was just great and I think it’s important to do these things because it’s a necessary part of being an author nowadays – you have to engage with your readers.’
Rupert Wallis has been shortlisted for the Edinburgh first book award. To vote please visit: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/writers/rupert-wallis