DARWEN-raised author James Watson has published his latest novel, a thriller called Fair Game set in the Ukraine.

Mr Watson, who lived in Lynwood Avenue and attended Darwen Grammar School, has published 12 books for young readers.

His themes focus on human rights, globally as well as at home – in Chile (Talking in Whispers), Spain (The Freedom Tree), Eastern Europe (Ticket to Prague) and East Timor (Justice of the Dagger).

Talking in Whispers won The Other Award, was Highly Commended in the Carnegie Medal Awards and was winner of the German prize for youth literature on contemporary themes, the Buxtehude Bulle Award. It is widely used in schools as a GCSE English text.

For many years a teacher of media and communication, Mr Watson began working life as a journalist. He was a reporter and art critic on the Teesside Evening Gazette.

He has written on art and education for The Times, Times Educational Supplement, the Guardian, Studio, Arts Review, Yorkshire Post, Liberal Education, Books for Keeps and Derbyshire Life.

He now lives in Kent.