When it comes to my favourite things from childhood, R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Fear Street novels are right up there with Monster Munch, Gatti Jelly Jolly and Rainbow Brite.
When I discovered that Mary Watson’s debut young adult novel was going to be published by Bloomsbury, I knew right away that it was going to be very, very good. I’ve been quoting Watson’s short fiction in my workshops for some time, especially her Caine-Prize winning story, Jungfrau. I’m not the only one who thinks her short story collection, Moss, contains some of the best fiction out there. When she left for Ireland nearly ten years ago, it felt like South Africa had lost a very important voice. Until now.
I know a few people who make a habit of not reading Next Big Thing books because ultimately, the end result never quite lives up to the hype. (I haven’t read The Girl on the Train and the movie’s already gone to DVD).
But sometimes it does.