Friday 5 August 2016


My lovely writer pal Shirley McMillan has just written her first YA book... and it's amazing! I asked Shirley to tell us a little bit more about it...

Shirley says:
Growing up in Northern Ireland, I loved reading - my favourites were Robert Swindells (check out STONE COLD and BROTHER IN THE LAND if you're not squeamish!), the Armada ghost books and the SWEET VALLEY HIGH series. But there weren't many books about where I lived. I loved Joan Lingard's KEVIN AND SADIE series about star crossed lovers in Belfast during the Troubles, because I recognised the accents and knew the culture, but I'd have loved more books I could connect with. Northern Ireland is a brilliant place, and our history makes us a little different to other places.

When I started writing, I was completely sure that I wanted to set my books in Northern Ireland. I wanted there to be a sense of young people's lives here - a sense of our language and our humour and our capacity for hope even when faced with very difficult circumstances. I hope I have achieved that! The young people I know in NI are some of the bravest and funniest you could meet anywhere, and I wanted my characters Stephen and Nollaig to reflect that.

Set in Belfast, my debut YA (young adult) book A GOOD HIDING tells the story of pregnant runaway teen Nollaig and her best friend Stephen, a young gay man. Stephen and Nollaig hide in the crypt of a local church but are found by the vicar; they think all is lost, but the pair have discovered 'his' little secret and plan to use it against him. Together, the three face a choice: a life in the shadows, or one lived freely, in plain sight?

I hope above all that A GOOD HIDING is an enjoyable read... I always think that, wherever you are from, your story is different to everyone else's and that makes it important. If there's one thing I'd like to say to those who read and enjoy the new book, it would be to never feel you can't tell your own story to someone - it's one of the most important things there is!

You can buy A GOOD HIDING by Shirley McMillan in all good bookshops, or order online HERE. Happy reading!

Cathy says:
I can't wait to read Shirley's book, out now... it sounds tense, dramatic and intriguing! Bear in mind that it is a YA book, so suitable for older teens. Have YOU read an amazing book this summer? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more!

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