Writer of acclaimed and often controversial children’s fiction, Melvin was born in Middlesex and grew up in Sussex, before moving to Berkshire at the age of twelve. After leaving school with two A-Levels in Biology and English, he enrolled on a six-month journalism course. He moved to Bristol at the age of 21, and began writing, between periods of work and unemployment. He continued writing after he moved to London in 1983, experimenting with short stories, radio plays and children’s fiction. His first published book, The Cry of the Wolf (1990), was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. It was for his controversial teenage novel, Junk (1996), that he gained wider recognition. Winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, it is an honest and disturbing account of teenage homelessness and heroin addiction on the streets of Bristol, and has been adapted for television. In 2007, it was shortlisted for the Carnegie of Carnegies. Bloodtide (1999) was joint winner of the Lancashire County Library Children’s Book of the Year Award. His comedy Lady: My Life as a Bitch (2001), also received a great deal of publicity for its frank exploration of the sexual behaviour of a teenage girl. Also in 2001, his novelisation of the film Billy Elliot was published, based on Lee Hall’s screenplay.
His controversial teenage novel, Doing It, was published in 2003 and won the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature in 2004, and Sara’s Face in 2006. His latest books are The Hit (2013), e-book Krispy Whispers (2013), Hunger (2014) and The Lost Witch (2018).
It’s a real pleasure to be welcoming Melvin to Hannah’s Bookshelf. We’ll be chatting about The Lost Witch, and about his writing career in general (as much as we can fit in on a two-hour show!). And, of course, Melvin will be sharing his selections for this week’s Apocalypse Books.
Catch the show on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).
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