10.07.09 Caroline Horn reporting in The Bookseller
Author Bridget Collins and her editor Emma Matthewson have won the 2009 Branford Boase Award. The pair were presented with the award yesterday evening (9th July) for Collins' debut title The Traitor Game.
This is the 10th year of the award, which recognises new children's authors and the role of the editor in a book's creation. The Traitor Game, published by Bloomsbury, is an ambitious teenage novel about the problematic relationship between two school boys, interwoven with an elaborate fantasy world they have created, called Evguard.
Collins said: "I'm interested in the way fantasy is a metaphor for a state of mind. In The Traitor Game, the boys reinvent reality in order to escape from their everyday world." Both boys are affected by bullying.
She added: "I have never experienced bullying but I wanted to tackle it because I am interested in exploring issues of emotional damage. The further you move from your own experience, the more you can explore issues truthfully."
Collins, who is 27 years old, trained as an actress but currently writes full time. She describes writing and acting as very similar activities. "In acting you are also trying to inhabit someone else's identity and to discover different voices," she says.
Collins has just finished acting in an independent film and describes acting as her "first love", with writing coming "a very close second".
She has now signed with Bloomsbury for five stand-alone books for teenagers. The next title, The Trick of the Dark, will be published in September.