Polly Ho-Yen on The Boy in the Tower and being nominated for a Blue Peter Book Award 2015

Published on: 27 January 2015

Polly Ho-Yen

First of all, congratulations on making the Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist 2015! What's it like being nominated for a Blue Peter Book Award?

Absolutely thrilling! It was very unexpected and when we saw the announcement on the show, my husband and I could not help but do a spontaneous jig around the coffee table! It's a prize in itself that in the award's judging, Boy in the Tower is being read in schools all over the country and young readers are voting for the winner. That has been very exciting indeed and I have loved hearing from some of the children who have read it.

Can you tell us something no one knows about Boy in the Tower?

When I finished writing Boy in the Tower, I had a huge crisis of confidence and came close to putting it away in a drawer somewhere, for good.

Do you think you would have enjoyed judging a book award when you were in school?

Yes! Any excuse to get lost in a book.

The Blue Peter Book Awards turn 15 this year - which books were you reading when you were 15?

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Around that time, I also read Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, which I like to reread now. In school, I was studying To Kill a Mockingbird and that's another book which has stayed with me for the long haul. All such brilliant books which have become dear friends to me.

If children enjoyed reading your book, what would you recommend they read next?

Anything by Patrick Ness! But especially his Chaos Walking trilogy. He's so brilliant and has such original ideas. And I have to mention John Wyndham of course. The Day of the Triffids really started me thinking about Boy in the Tower and was a big inspiration for me.

More from Polly

Where Monsters Lie

Author: Polly Ho-Yen

It all began when Effie's rabbit Buster escaped from his hutch. It was on the night of the offering - a tradition in Mivtown to keep the monsters of the loch away from the tiny village. A spooky and compelling mystery, set in the Highlands.

Read more about Where Monsters Lie

Blue Peter Book Awards


Find out more about Blue Peter Book Awards.