PANEL Discussion: Making the Leap from Young Adult to Adult Fiction: Four best-selling writers discuss the effects of switching genres, what it takes to maintain a publishing career today and offer advice to budding authors.
Christi Daugherty: As a newspaper reporter, Christi Daugherty began covering murders at the age of 22. She worked as a journalist for years in cities including Savannah, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. Her work eventually took her to England, where she wrote the international bestselling Night School series of thrillers for young adults under the name CJ Daugherty. Her new detective novel, The Echo Killing, is her first adult novel. Her work has been translated into 25 languages.
Jo Nadin: A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics Jo has written more than 70 books, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like Red and The Amorist. Jo also lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and holds a doctorate in young adult literature. The winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, Jo has been twice nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is currently being adapted for television. She works with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series, and ghost-writes Angry Birds under another name. Jo lives in Bath with her family.
CJ Skuse: CJ was born and bred in Weston-super-Mare and has always lived locally. She worked in publishing for nine years and is the author of the Young Adult novels Pretty Bad Things, Rockoholic, Dead Romantic, Monster and The Deviants, C.J.’s first adult title Sweetpea was released in 2017 with HQ/HarperCollins. The sequel is released this August. CJ’s books have been longlisted for the Redbridge and Branford Boase book awards, shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book prize with Amazon Kindle, the Lancashire Book of the Year and Coventry Inspiration Book Awards. Pretty Bad Things won the Dumfries and Burgh Book Award and The Deviants recently claimed the prestigious Prix des Etudiants de L’Universite Jean-Monnet in France. She has first class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Young People. Aside from writing, C.J. works as a Senior Lecturer on the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.
Rachel Ward: Rachel’s first Young Adult novel Numbers was published in January 2009 to wide acclaim and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book prize, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and won regional prizes in the UK and Germany including the Angus Book Award, Oxfordshire Book Award and the Salisbury Schools Book Award. This was followed up with the sequels The Chaos and Infinity, and two further YA thrillers, The Drowning and Waterborn. Numbers has been translated into more than 20 languages. Her first novel for adults, The Cost of Living, was published last year. In between writing novels, Rachel likes to paint landscapes and portraits, and take photographs in and around Bath, where she lives with her family.