Hey guys ;) Welcome to stop three of the RAGING STAR blog tour! At today's stop you will find an exclusive Q&A with one of the biggest queens of YA dystopian fiction! I am so excited to be a part of this tour as I absolutely adore The Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young; it is EPIC!
The trilogy kicked off with Blood Red Road, back in 2011, and has stormed the world of readers by heart. Moira managed to script Saba's voice so rhythmically and vividly into our minds that you can almost hear her inside your head, every word, every breath.
THEN came Rebel Heart in 2012. It blew me away! Blood Red Road was amazing, Rebel Heart was phenomenal; and I can only expect even more from Raging Star, the third and final instalment in this adrenaline-filled blockbuster of a trilogy!
I am pleased to say that I have a BEAUTIFUL copy of Raging Star (which I am LOVING) sat on my bookcase next to the two previous novels (SIGNED, oh yes, I met the lovely Moira - a wonderful lady indeed) and they are just perfection together. I mean, just LOOK at these COVERS!
I had the privilege of asking Moira Young a few questions and I am happy to be sharing them here with you!
Q&A with Moira Young:
1) What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote my first book at nine. I still have it in my box of childhood treasures. It's called The Heirloom Mystery, a not-in-the-least-bit-thrilling tale of a stolen silver candlestick. I wrote it for a board of education story contest. I beefed up my entry by making a cover, cutting black construction paper letters to spell out the title and gluing them to the front. They're arranged tipsily, which I remember thinking would give a spooky feel to the thing. I was mistaken. It was returned with a blue square sticker and I have no recollection what that blue sticker means. I didn't win, I know that. There was a gap of some years between The Heirloom Mystery and Blood Red Road, my first published book. The initial impetus for that book was to somehow channel or assuage my anxiety about inaction on climate change. My fears on that front are even greater now than they were then, but it set me on the road to being a writer and I'm glad about that.
2) Is there a message in The Dustlands trilogy that you want readers to grasp?
As Sam Goldwyn said, "If you have a message, send a telegram." So, no message. A moral position, yes. I care deeply about the themes of these books and Saba's story. They're the stuff of my bones and blood and heart. What the reader takes from them will depend upon who they are and where they are in their lives.
3) Nero plays as big a part in the Dustlands trilogy as the human characters, why did you choose a crow for Saba's loyal companion?
Well, my first and greatest literary influence is the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy, of course, had Toto. I never actually made a decision to give Saba an animal companion, I just did and the Wizard of Oz is to blame. For the three years it took me to write a first draft of Dark Eden, (my working title for Blood Red Road), Saba had a wolfdog called Tracker. The problem was that he couldn't accompany her everywhere, so I was constantly having to make arrangements for him. I was discussing this with my husband one day and he said, "You need an animal that functions in three dimensions. What you need is a bird. What you need is a crow." A crow. Besides humans, the most intelligent animals on earth. Familiar and yet unknown, the mysterious, mythical crow. How perfect! How obvious! A crow could go everywhere with Saba. And I adore birds. For a time I was lucky enough to live with a cockatiel called Lola; she was bright, with a huge personality and a big attitude and we loved each other at first sight. Twenty years on, I can still smell her feathers, still feel her sitting on my shoulder, nibbling on the tiny hairs of my neck. Nero was a joy to write.
4) Which character do you like the most/least and why?
I like all my characters, even the baddies. As soon as I knew that Blood Red Road was the first in a trilogy, I realised that Saba would need to come up against a powerful, attractive antagonist. The stronger and more complex your antagonist, the greater the danger to your hero. It was an enjoyable challenge to discover DeMalo's secrets and bring him to life. Mind you, I was slightly disturbed at the number of readers who seem to have fallen for my sexy fascist.
5) If you could live in the shoes of just one of your characters for the day, who would you choose and why?
I'd slip into Ash's sizable boots. I've never known what it is to have physical strength and stamina and courage, to not be plagued by self-doubt and endless internal wittering on about this or that. Ash is a self-confident, tireless Amazon of a girl. I probably wouldn't want to hand her boots back!
6) If someone could provide a soundtrack for the Dustlands series, who would you pick?
I hear the music of the Dustlands roaming about widely; from British and American folk, bluegrass and the blues to great classical orchestrations and opera. There's a wonderful BBC documentary called Scrapheap Orchestra. A group of the UK's top instrument makers transformed junk, broken furniture and the contents of roadside skips into a full orchestra of 44 instruments. The BBC Concert Orchestra then played their junk instruments in a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture at the 2011 Proms. The film inspired me to put a junkband into Rebel Heart. If they ever film Blood Red Road, it's my dream to have a scrapheap orchestra play all the music. For a story about a world in which people survive by cobbling together the junk of the past, that would be perfection.
7) Is there a Dustlands story to tell beyond Raging Star and would you ever go back?
For me, this is the end of the Dustlands. Saba's story is the one that was necessary for me to discover and follow and it finishes with Raging Star. Now I'll just have to bide my time until another story starts burning inside of me.
8) Which genres/authors do you like to read?
Everything. Anything. Whatever. Fiction, non-fiction, classic, contemporary, crime, pulp, steampunk, Shakespeare, Beowulf and on and on. I've always read widely. I was an early, voracious reader and my parents let me read whatever I wanted. I don't know much of anything, but I do have an eternally curious, hungry, magpie mind. If I ran the world, I would demolish all the genre ghettos that libraries and bookstores create for their readers. I'd put every book - fiction and non-fiction alike - in author alphabetical order. What a joyous, mind-blowing scramble that would be.
9) Do you plan to write more YA novels? If so, are there any details you can share with us?
I will positively be writing more books for Young Adults. I think my voice fits comfortably here. I'll be very interested to see what I do next. At the moment, I have no idea what that might be, I just have to be patient. Writing the Dustlands, I've learned that stories cannot be forced or hurried out of me. They come when they're ready and not before.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Raging Star (which you most definitely should) then head over here!! ---------> http://www.amazon.co.uk/
You can find my review of Rebel Heart here-> http://eponaharvest.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/review-rebel-heart-moira-young.html
NEXT STOP: Head over to queenofteenfiction.blogspot.co.uk to see what's in store! (Also, don't forget to check out the previous stops for more exclusive content and a series GIVEAWAY!)