In April the shortlist for the 2016 Tir na n-Og Award was announced - the fortieth consecutive year of the prestigious Welsh literature award – and displayed a vast wealth of fantasatic books by talented authors across Wales. One such talented author was our very own Welsh television director Griff Rowland, shortlisted for his debut young adult novel The Search For Mister Lloyd.
Now, we are delighted to announce that The Search for Mister Lloyd was named the winner!! The announcement was made during the CILIP Cymru Library and Information Conference on Thursday 26th May.
Griff Rowland said: “I’m absolutely delighted that my book has been recognised for such an important Welsh award.”
Set against the background of the Welsh town of Bangor, The Search For Mister Lloyd has been called “a tale that draws you in from the start and never lets you go", beginning when 11 year-old Mostyn Price’s beloved racing pigeon Mister Lloyd fails to return from his very first race.
“Where do you even begin to search for your lost pigeon? Of course you put up LOST posters, pinning them to as many tree trunks as possible and handing them out to people in the street, but it’s not like you can actually look for a pigeon... or can you?
When Mister Lloyd fails to return home from his first international race, Mostyn Price, a young pigeon fancier from North Wales, is inconsolable. His grandfather presumes Mister Lloyd has been devoured by a falcon but Mostyn is hell-bent on proving him wrong, determined to conquer his sense of loss, especially as his own dad also vanished a few years earlier.
A mysterious tip-off suggests Mister Lloyd has landed in London and the search shifts to the metropolis where the 11-year-old hero finds himself increasingly isolated and in danger.”
We're delighted that one of our talented authors has won such a fantastic and proudly Welsh award. The Tir na n-Og Award celebrates new literary titles with an authentic Welsh background written in both English and Welsh. “It’s more important than ever that publications for children and young people are exciting, attractive and of the highest quality," said Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council. "This is the way to attract children and to ensure that they become lifetime readers.”
Set in both Bangor and London, The Search For Mister Lloyd weaves Welsh phrases and names into the narrative. Griff's Welsh background and its influence runs deeply throughout yet never overpowering or undercutting the story’s unique plot. He said: “Setting the story in north Wales felt almost inevitable to me as a writer. The Welsh landscape itself, as well as the language and the culture, has been influential to me in all my work. This is an achievement that I am very proud of – it’s a real honour to receive this incredible award for my first book.”
Dubbed “a pacey modern quest story full of emotional peaks and troughs,” The Search for Mister Lloyd is a blend of heart-pounding adventure and heart-warming, relatable characters. Through the story of Mostyn and Mister Lloyd, Griff poignantly explores the complexities of family relationships and true friendships encountered by readers at all stages of life.
Griff thinks that the more adult themes of abandonment are very important to the story. “Dealing with loss is an incredibly difficult at any age, but even more so at the age of eleven," he said. "I think that it’s important for children and young adult fiction to deal with real-life issues that might be affecting readers, and I think a lot of people will relate to what Mostyn goes through.”
Hayley Cox, senior publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, said: “The Search for Mister Lloyd is the second of our titles to be shortlisted for the Tir na n-Og Awards, but the first to win! We are delighted that Mostyn and Mister Lloyd have won over the hearts of the awarding panel, and we’re certain they will win the hearts of many more readers to come.”
“As an independent publishing company, we take a lot of pride not only in producing quality books but, just as importantly, telling engaging stories that people love by talented authors like Griff Rowland. We are all extremely proud of Griff.”
The Search For Mister Lloyd is available as paperback RRP £7.99 and also as a Kindle ebook. You can buy the book direct from Candy Jar, from Amazon, as well as other good retailers.
If you've read The Search For Mister Lloyd, let us know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #TheSearchForMisterLloyd
For other Candy Jar titles, check out our website www.candy-jar.co.uk and follow us to see what we're up to!