Thursday 19 March 2015

UKYA Easter Egg Hunt!

Welcome to the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt—your chance to win a great bundle of signed books by over thirty Young Adult authors who write and live in the UK. 

All you have to do is read this post, count up the UKYA branded Easter eggs like this one (yes, this counts as number one!), and follow the link at the end to the next author. Keep going until you get back to the blog where you started, and add up how many eggs you’ve seen along the way. 

Email your answer to: A winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries, and contacted by email. The competition closes at noon (UK time) on Sunday, 5th April, and is open internationally. 

My contribution to the prize bundle will be a signed copy of my debut YA novel 15 Days Without a Head, plus a very limited edition, handmade, signed CD of the Waiting for Gonzo soundtrack

Now, I’d like to make it clear from the start that I’m a big fan of some of the excellent books from the States that are currently dominating the YA market. Unfortunately though, the huge amount of attention given to these titles in the media can somewhat overshadow publications from the UK. As a result, many great books fail to receive the recognition and readership they deserve. 

In an effort to redress the balance a little, I’d like to offer a few names to drop into your egg hunting basket alongside those chocolate treats. The list below is an incomplete and very personal UKYA roll of honour—books and writers who have enriched my life; offered companionship; new perspectives and ideas; helped me navigate a path through the turbulent teenage years and well beyond. Without these books I certainly wouldn't be a published author today.

Bog Child — Siobhan Dowd

Creepers — Keith Gray

Empty World — John Christopher

Exodus — Julie Bertagna

Fat Boy Swim — Catherine Forde

Fathom Five — Robert Westall

Geekhood — Andy Robb

Grinny — Nicholas Fisk

Henry Tumour — Anthony McGowan

Heroic — Phil Earle

Keeper — Mal Peet

Kill All Enemies — Melvin Burgess

Noughts & Crosses — Malorie Blackman

Riot — Sarah Mussi

The Road of the Dead — Kevin Brooks

Rowan the Strange — Julie Hearn

Storm Catchers — Tim Bowler

Thunder and Lightnings — Jan Mark

Wasted — Nicola Morgan

Sadly, a few of these books are now out of print, and their authors no longer with us, but there are many fantastic writers continuing their legacy, many of them included in this Easter Egg Hunt blog trail. I’m honoured to be among them and hope that my stories will play their own part in continuing the great tradition of UKYA. So, please go and count those eggs, but more importantly, I’m hoping you’ll pick up a few new favourite authors on the way.

Good luck and thanks for visiting.

Dave Cousins is the author of two award winning books for young adults—15 Days without a Head and Waiting for Gonzo have both been published worldwide in over 19 different languages. Dave is currently writing his third YA novel, due for publication by Oxford University Press in May 2016.


  1. Isn't it weird how books can follow us throughout our lives? Some of my favourite YA books are becoming out of print but gosh darnit I still love them anyway!


    1. I agree Mia—some stories do stay with us throughout our lives. I always think that's the mark of a great book. Plus, the more we talk about them and recommend them to our friends, the more chance they'll stay in print!

  2. Dave, thanks so much for the honorable mention! Good luck in all you do.

    1. My pleasure, Nicola—thanks for the inspiration!

  3. "I’m hoping you’ll pick up a few new favourite authors on the way." passing through your blogs, and I realized I am living under a rock because I don't know any of you (except for Miss LA Weatherly,weeee!). But I guess, I already resurfaced and found new favorite authors(which is all of you)!!! yay!! Virtual hug, Sir? ;)

    And I think I found the head on the Waiting For Gonzo's cover, kidding! :D

    1. Ah, I wondered where it went! : ) Thanks Khayzelle—glad to hear you've added a few more authors and books to your reading pile. All the best, Dave.