Twitter-style summary: Two boys’ lives driven together by unfortunate circumstances. One disastrous event changes everything, forcing them to face their demons.
The YA market is here to stay and I was on the lookout for a home-grown author who I could work with for years to come when this manuscript arrived.
My throat clenched in excitement within the first page. The writing delivers uncomfortably believable school scenes and home lives so vivid you could be watching them in next door’s window. I was struck by Colin’s ability to convey so much with so little – his writing is concise, direct and unapologetic, yet rich enough to depict two characters with distinct voices.
There’s a raw, emotional thread running throughout and it’s not apparent how things will work out - I remember pleading with the characters under my breath on the tube home. Despite realism so tangible you can smell the sweat and taste the blood during a cage fighting sequence, the narrative is shot-through with a subtly uplifting kernel of hope; a possible path of redemption…
I had to have this book.
Meeting Colin confirmed he was the writer for me. He has the commitment, energy and enthusiasm that every author needs to see them through the process, but on top of that his passion for the genre will make him a great advocate for teen books written for real teen readers.
And, and, as an extra-special-bonus-ball, he’s from the North East. I have a soft spot for anything that reminds me of home.
If you want to know more, you can see Colin introduce Clash here - listen out for the backing track written by the rather excellent Massive Dog.