For the past few week's I've been on an amazing family holiday to Europe - visiting London, Oxford, Prague, Berlin and Cambridge. I'd like to say I completely forgot about the CBCA shortlist announcement on the 27th of March, but it was in the back on my mind as a fantastical 'what if?'
At about 3am Oxford time, a dream I've had for many years (probably since I was in high school, and I used to read all the books with a gold CBCA sticker on the front) came true. Because of You is one of six books shortlisted for the Book of the Year - Older Readers. The other beautiful books are listed here
Congratulatory tweets, texts and calls arrived in a flurry in my dark hotel room, and I knew going back to sleep was out of the question. I slipped out to the hallway and spoke to my mum in a whisper, trying not to wake anyone else and fighting back tears. Writing Because of You wasn't a straightforward process, and I had lots of uncertainty and tough moments getting it onto bookshelves, so the moment was pretty sweet.
One of the incredible things about the CBCA shortlist is that it highlights books (like mine) that might not been as widely read as they now will be. Because of You has gone off to be reprinted with that magic, sparkly shortlist sticker on the front cover - and I'm so incredibly grateful that it means more teens will get their hands on it.