Moira Young

Photo of Moira Young
Moira Young was born in New Westminster, Canada. After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a history degree, she moved to the United Kingdom to attend The Drama Studio. She performed with Fancy Goods on the alternative comedy circuit in the mid-80s when highlights included being pelted with fruit and vegetables by the audience at the infamous Tunnel Club, and being hissed off the stage at the Lewisham Labour Club.

From 1988 until 1992, Moira lived back in Vancouver, where she retrained as an opera singer and was winner of the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions, Western Canada in 1991. In 1992, she moved back to the UK to continue vocal studies and work in opera, where she sang in many London venues and also toured in the UK and France with Travelling Opera.

Moira’s first ambition was always to be a writer. At the age of nine she wrote her first book, entitled ‘The Heirloom Mystery’. Shortly after that, she was bitten by the theatre bug and didn’t take up writing again until 2003 when she enrolled on Elizabeth Hawkins’ Writing for Children course and workshop at the City Lit (2003-2005). Moira’s first young adult novel, Blood Red Road, won the 2011 Costa Children’s Book Award.

Author's Comment: Q: Why do you think post apocalyptic fiction has become so popular with teens these days?

A: My teenage years were coloured by Cold War paranoia and propaganda and the spectre of imminent nuclear catastrophe and I spent sleepless nights worrying about it all. Young people today will have to deal with the problems caused by climate change and an over-populated planet. They’re going to have to be resourceful, cooperative, imaginative, humane and innovative. They are and will be all of these things, but big challenges lie ahead. Philip Pullman says that, "stories entertain and teach. They help us both enjoy life and endure it. After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all." I think that might be why teenagers are reading these books.

Nationality: Canadian

Featured series by Moira Young

Dust Lands (Ages 14 and up)