When the Costa Book of the Year 2011 category winners were announced on 4 January 2012, the £5000 Children's Book prize went to Bath-based Moira Young for Blood Red Road.
This is the adrenaline-fuelled story of a girl, Saba, searching for her kidnapped twin brother Lugh with the help of a clever crow. When he's snatched by mysterious black-robed riders working for an evil king who wants him as a human sacrifice, Saba sets out on an epic quest to rescue him. In a lawless land, where life is cheap and survival is hard, Saba has been brought up in isolated Silverlake and has never seen the dangers of the destructive society outside. Written in dialect and set in the future, the tale of Saba's journey sizzles with danger ...
The judges said: “It’s astonishing how, in her first novel, Moira Young has so successfully bound believable characters into a heart-stopping adventure. She kept us reading, and left us hungry for more. A really special book.”
Blood Red Road is the first instalment of a trilogy (Dustlands) which is already creating excitement in Hollywood. Her new novel has been optioned by Ridley Scott and screenwriter Jack Thorne is in the process of adapting it for film. Young said much of her own inspiration came from the epic movies with which she grew up, from Gone with the Wind to The Searchers to The Wizard of Oz.
Born in Canada, Young moved to the UK in the 1980s. She worked as an actor – including appearing as a tapdancing chorus girl in Richard Eyre's High Society in the West End – before becoming an opera singer. More recently she has been PA to the Editor of the Bath Chronicle, the city where she now lives. In 2003 she enrolled on a writing for children course and has not stopped writing since. "I'm hoping I'll stay here for a bit" she says. "I think this is where I was meant to be heading."
Blood Red Road has also been nominated for the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal, awarded by children’s librarians for the outstanding book of the year for children and young people.
Read more at Blood Red Road