The Girl Who Wasn’t Min
Mulligan is not the best thief in Aberddu, but he is a man with a plan. After he finds Min and her friends scraping a living on the streets of the Poor Quarter, he knows he’s going to be quids in.
Together, Mulligan and the girls build up a rock-solid ruse. As the Fortescues, they hold the key to the homes of the city’s great, good and filthy rich. It seems like the perfect scheme – if Mulligan can avoid getting married off – but nothing this good can last forever.
The game they are playing is more complex than they first suppose, and soon enough they are plagued by enemies harder to run from than the militia. Greed, resentment and disloyalty take their toll on the gang. With Min and Mulligan enjoying the high life and Angel disappearing for hours at a time, it seems like they might spoil things for themselves before anybody else has a chance to rumble their little ploy.
As four street kids and a con-man take on Aberddu’s aristocracy, who exactly is playing whom… and will anybody come up smelling of roses?
Welcome to another Beyond the Story Character Interview where I get the opportunity to interview some truly interesting guests. This week my colourful guest and her companion come from the novel, The Girl who wasn’t Min, written by L.G. Surgeson.
SJJ: Hello and welcome, please tell us your full name and where you live?
CC: Who’s asking? Are you wiv the militia? Cos I aint done nothin; and neither has my h’associate.
SJJ: I promise I am not from any militia.
CC: You don’t look like militia. Okay. My name’s Clara Cropper, and this is my h’associate Pudding The Goblin. She’s jus’ gonna stand here while I answer okay?
SJJ: Yes, that’s fine.
CC: We lives ‘ere, in the rough bit of the Docks, in Aberddu City, but we’d appreciate it if you could keep all that t’yourself like squire?
SJJ: Um, sure I’ll keep it to myself but Clara, this is an interview and it will be posted so I can’t promise my readers won’t share the information.
Let’s move on to my next question. How would you describe your personality?
CC: Delightful. I’m amazing me… Shut up Pudding.
SJJ: Okay… And what do you do for a living, Clara?
CC: Bit of this, a bit of that, you know, a bit of the other…. shut up Pudding, not that kind of other.
Mostly, we get paid to go away. Or we steal stuff for cash. Professionally speaking, we go by the name ‘The Amazing Bazooka Sisters’, epic poems and dancing performed. But we aint really bards no more, cos we’re kicked out of the Bards Guild for getting widdled and recitin’ ‘she likes it like a well-boiled ham’ during the posh toasts at the midwinter banquet.
SJJ: Sounds like a tough way to earn a living. What is the biggest obstacle preventing you from achieving goals for yourself?
CC: Well funny you should mention it, I had a spot of bovver on the way here.
SJJ: Bovver? Excuse me for a moment while I look that up…. Ah, I see, you had a bit of a bother
CC: Some b*****d had it away wiv the buttons from me coat.
SJJ: Thanks for bleeping yourself. So, tell us something about you that not everyone knows.
CJJ: Not on your life mate. I still aint completely sure you aint militia.
SJJ: I swear, I’m not. Are there any defining moments in your life that made you who you are today?
CJJ: Probably being given a bath by Lady Iona, also that scam with Mulligan and the gang, what made us some money, and met me Pudding.
SJJ: Do you have any regrets, Clara?
CJJ: Nah, I can’t afford anyfing posh like tha’ guvnor.
SJJ: Ah, pretty sure regrets don’t cost anything. I mean unless you’re talking buyer’s remorse.
Is there anyone you look up to, consider to be a mentor, either in the past or right now?
CJJ: Well, I s’pose Lady Iona, the Duchess of hoity-toit. She did give me a bath once… I say a bath, she hosed me da’wn in tha yard firs’ like. And she gave us a job once an all.
SJJ: And when you think of all your accomplishments, what is your proudest moment?
CJJ: Gettin’ thrown outta the Bards Guild prob’ly. We can do ‘she likes it like a well-boiled ham’ for ya now if you like?
SJJ: No, that’s quite alright.
CC: No? Ah well.
SJJ: Tell us, what is your idea of the perfect day?
CC: New boots, a hot meal, lotsa beer and a nice big bed. Shut up Pudding, not like that.
SJJ: I think a lot of people might agree with you there.
What do you do for fun?
CC: Anything I can get away with. Scrumping in the market, running up behind the priests in the Temple district and flicking their cassocks over their ‘eads, pushing posh buggers into the river, ‘aving a sing song, doin’ a turn at the Bird and Bottle.
SJJ: Clara, what are your plans for the future?
CC: Well, I want to get the buttons back for this coat for a start. Then, maybe a pie.
SJJ: And I hope you are successful on both accounts.If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
SJJ: OK, I guess we’ll forget that question. Are you happy with the way your story was told?
CC: Didn’t get much choice really, story of me life.
Clara Cropper Appears in The Girl Who Wasn’t Min and in the forthcoming ‘In Shadows Waiting’. You can also catch her cameo appearance in The Winter That Follows, and in the short story ‘Clara’s Buttons’ available on LG Surgeson’s Facebook Page.
LG Surgeson is a writer and teacher who lives in a cottage by a stream with her long-suffering partner and their four cats. They like Mid-Wales because it’s better than the real world. She writes in her pyjamas, in the time she creates by avoiding housework and socialising. The cats like to help. They aren’t very good at it. When she’s not writing or teaching, she likes to create things or mess around in the garden upsetting the fairies.
LG writes a lot. She writes because she can’t help it, and when she’s not writing she drives her partner and the cats mad by moaning about the fact that she’s not writing. Being a novelist has been a life-long dream, since she fell in love with Jo Marsh when her Grandmother read Little Women to her when she was very small. LG writes novels, blog posts and articles. She believes it’s important to write about what you know; her novels are either fantasy adventures or semi-autobiographical stories about teachers. Both are equally believable.
Currently, the first three novels in The Black River Chronicles and The Girl Who Wasn’t Min – a stand alone novel set in the same world – are available from Next Chapter Publishing, with more to follow. These are definitely fantasy – and contain lots of magic, near-death and goblins.