James lives with his family in the Blue Mountains. He enjoys trying to make music and art, doesn't like olives very much, and hasn't entirely abandoned his dream of sailing around the world.
Author's Comment: Fact is, I’d never stopped to think that many of my favourite classic books would, if published today, have been young adult fiction. Of course The Outsiders and Catcher in the Rye were at the forefront of the fledgling YA industry before it had a proper name, but it could be argued that other classics – Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Romeo and Juliet – they all make a strong case for inclusion within the YA canon. Consider Hamlet, which ticks off many of the standard YA criteria. Dead dad – check. Mother whoring it up with her brother-in-law – check. Main character introspective and borderline emo; girlfriend so nuts she ends up in a pond; a best friend so cool it hurts – check, check and check. Is it just me, or does Hamlet read a little like a John Green novel?
None of these writers accidentally wrote stories about young people. They chose their characters, they chose their situations, they saw that these stories needed to be told, and they didn’t baulk at the idea of using young people as the central drivers of those stories. I’m sure they were unapologetic about it. And now, after a bit of an early minor hiccup, so am I.