2O12 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel to debut novelist

 Lee Murray has won the 2O12 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel with her first publication, Battle of the Birds (Taramea Publishing).

Lee, a Tauranga writer and 46-year-old mother of two with a Masters in Science, turned her hand to writing four years ago and was thrilled to be recognised with the award for science and fantasy writing.
Here is part of an interview with her conducted by Piper Mejia:

Is this the first time the award has come to the Bay of Plenty?
Not quite. In 2006 Dame Margaret Mahy was awarded a Sir Julius Vogel for services to science fiction and fantasy. Dame Margaret was born in Whakatane and still has connections there. But I’m happy to share the honour!  I do think it’s wonderful that Battle of the Birds has taken this year’s award, because although it’s fantasy, the story is set right here in the Bay. It’s not a place we know of course, because my heroine has been hurled back to the time of the moa, but readers will still recognise landmarks like Mauao, Papamoa, Mount Tarawera and the Huka Falls, for example.

I’ve heard most of your writing has a New Zealand flavour.
Well, I was raised on Marmite and Weetbix! But it’s true my writing is very Kiwi-centric. One of my novels, a chick-lit called A Dash of Reality (Oceanbooks), has been selected for the Frankfurt Book Fair, where New Zealand is this year’s country of honour. It’s also set in Tauranga.

Can readers expect more science and fiction fantasy from you now?
My current writing is a science-fiction thriller, this time for adults, and with a uniquely Kiwi twist. So yes, I hope to write more of this genre. 

Link to interview with author on Central News TV : http://youtu.be/wzktNjYej2M