Simon Mayo can multi-task
Not only is he a DJ for the BBC, but he can write well-reviewed page-turners for young adults
Itch, his debut, was promoted by none other than Anthony Horowitz, the author of the hugely popular Alex Rider series, featuring a teenaged special agent in the James Bond mode.
Not only has Itch flown to number one in its category on the AmazonUK list, but it has been nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, which counts CS Lewis and Philip Pullman as previous winners.
The Carnegie Medal is an annual award made to the writer of an outstanding
book for children.
The winner is chosen by librarians and other writers, including Frank
Cottrell Boyce who won the award in 2005 and worked alongside Danny Boyle on the
2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
Chair of this year's judging panel, Karen Robinson, said: "This fantastic
longlist - the largest ever - represents the high quality of children's
publishing that we have here in the UK and is a testament to the enthusiasm of
children's librarians across the country.
"In these difficult times it is really heartening that more librarians than
ever can still find the time to nominate.
"Judges have a hard task in front of them to read and assess all these
exceptional books by our specific awards criteria but their dedication and
enthusiasm is second to none and we are all looking forward to the challenge,"
Other names on the longlist include Irish novelist Roddy Doyle who is
nominated for his book, A Greyhound of a Girl.
Last year's winner was Patrick Ness who was chosen for his book, Monster
The shortlist will be announced on 19 March, with the overall winner - chosen
in June - receiving a gold medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library
of their choice.