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Smudge's Mark:
Character Interviews

Since I took it upon myself to write Simon's story, I thought it would be a good idea to take some time to get to know him and the other characters. These interviews were done randomly throughout the various stages of writing the manuscript; whenever I was able to get a hold of someone. I've found them to be a very diverse and fascinating bunch of personalities and I thought it might be nice for you to get to know them a little, too, before you read the book. That way, when you do get the book, it'll be kind of like catching up with old friends. I asked them to answer a few personal questions and I also asked if they would allow me to share their answers with you. A few of them seemed to be a bit nervous or shy about it, but overall most of them were quite cooperative.

Just on a side note: if you happen to meet one of Demlock's henchmen on the street, just look the other way and keep on stepping. Whatever you do, don't stop to mention the fact that you read his interview online. (Let's just put it this way: I can't be held responsible for what they do to you if you fail to heed this warning.) Actually, you might just want to skip reading his interview altogether, just so you can truthfully plead ignorance in case you get... well... cornered. They seem to have this freakish ability to read minds...

Anyway, let's get to the interviews. I hope you enjoy meeting these characters as much as I did. This is what they had to say...

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Simon Mugford
Full name: Simon Jeremy Mugford
Nickname: Smudge
Age: 14
favourite food: Burritos
favourite color: Pomegranate red
favourite number: 17
favourite kind of music: Rock
Most embarrassing moment: Aw geez... Okay, so there was this time me and Gil decided to go spying and we accidentally came across the door to the girl's change room. I swear it was by accident! No, really, it was. Really. Listen, there's no proper spying keyhole in that door anyways. The only reason we stopped was because we heard my name come from the other side of the door so we decided to listen. So technically we weren't spying; we were eavesdropping. Anyways, just as we were leaning with our ears on the door, it gave way and we went sprawling across the floor, into the room. Of course the girls all screamed and made a big deal about it. And, of course, Tessa was the loudest. But that wasn't actually the embarrassing part. The next morning, there was a note taped to the front of the cafeteria door that read "Nosey Boys Face Consequences" and Gil and I discovered that all our underwear was on display all over the cafeteria. Yeah, that was the embarrassing part. Especially since Gil accidentally threw a red t-shirt in with my whites the last time our laundry was done.
In my spare time I like to: Spy on people, hang out with Gil, draw, and avoid The Rat.
If I had a million dollars I would: Buy a nice house for me and Gil and we'd have a great life - outta here!
If I had one wish, I would wish: My mom was here.

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Gemma Mugford
Author's note: Unfortunately, I was unable to interview Ms. Mugford due to very regrettable circumstances.

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Gilbert Miller
Full name: Gilbert Miller
Nickname: Gil
Age: 14

favourite food: Olive and a-anchovie pizza (with extra olives!)
favourite color: Orange
favourite number: 13
favourite kind of music: I'm n-not really m-much of a music p-person anymore... not since... oh, n-never mind. I don't w-want to t-talk about it right n-now.
Most embarrassing moment: Well, I've had l-lots of embarrassing m-moments, but the one that st-tands out to me is the time my S-Superman underwear was on display in the c-cafeteria. And, to make it worse, when I w-went to retrieve them from above the tray pile... Yeah, Tessa hung them right above the t-trays with a big sign that had my name on it - so no one w-would miss seeing them. She's evil. So, when I w-went to get them from the t-tray pile, Mad D-Dog gave me an atomic w-wedgie. Yeah. So then everyone knew I had S-Spiderman underwear too.
In my spare time I like to: Read m-mystery magazines.
If I had a million dollars I would: Try to d-develop a cure for st-tuttering.
If I had one wish, I would wish: To be free of m-my st-tutter.

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Tessa Tasselbaum
Full name: Tessa Olivia Tasselbaum
Nickname: I'd rather not say... you see, I've never really had a nickname, but Sludge decided to fashion one for me - using my last name. I'm not fond of it at all so I'm not going to tell you. Unfortunately, I'm sure everyone will find out when they read the book, though. Oh, I can't stand that Sluuudge!
Age: 14
favourite food: Tofu and veggie lasagna (I'm a vegetarian, you know)
favourite color: Purple
favourite number: 18
favourite kind of music: Pop
Most embarrassing moment: Do I have to tell you? I can't believe I agreed to do this stupid interview. Okay, well, this isn't my most embarrassing moment, but it was embarrassing. One day in class, right in the middle of Mr. Ratsworth's geography lesson, I... um... uh... alright! I passed gas, okay? Are you happy now? Of course everyone thought it was Gil and since he sits right near me, I just went along with it.
In my spare time I like to: Study
If I had a million dollars I would: Actually, I do have a million dollars locked up in a bank account somewhere - in Switzerland, I think. Daddy said it will be mine when I turn 18. (That's why 18 is my favourite number, in case you wanted to know)
If I had one wish, I would wish: I never told you I passed gas.

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Maximillian Snute
Full name: Maximillian Carver Snute
Nickname: Max or Millian
Age: 17
favourite food: Sushi
favourite color: Pink
favourite number: 11
favourite kind of music: Rock
Most embarrassing moment: One time, I climbed a tree to show off to a girl I liked. I climbed really high and she was really impressed, but the branch I was straddling cracked and I fell straight to the ground. When I landed, I landed hard and the branch splintered and a piece of it got stuck in my butt. I'm not kidding. But that wasn't even the worst part: the girl had to pull it out for me. Yeah... That was painful and embarrassing.
In my spare time I like to: Write poetry.
If I had a million dollars I would: Open a proper orphanage in Grimstown.
If I had one wish, I would wish: For everything to be as it was before Demlock's Rebellion.

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Grampa Mugford
Full name: Horath William Mugford
Nickname: No, my name'th not Nick. I already told you it'th Horath.
Age: Now, what year ith it? I'm thorry, I've forgotten.
favourite food: Shepherd'th Pie.
favourite color: Mud
favourite number: 7077 and 7777
favourite kind of music: Ahhh... The wind.
Most embarrassing moment: Motht definitely the night the neighborth caught me hugging their tree. They jutht didn't underthtand.
In my spare time I like to: Thpend time in the attic.
If I had a million dollars I would: Give it away. Heaventh... what would I need a million dollarth for?
If I had one wish, I would wish: Thimon could remember.

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Griselda Hampshed
Full name: (Marilyn) Griselda Marika Bonita Winchella Hampshed. My foolish parents neglected to add the Marilyn so, naturally, I took it upon myself to do so... Yes... you know... Marilyn Monroe...?? Simply beholding my beauty should make it obvious. (You are a slow one to catch on, aren't you?)
Nickname: Diva. (Well, it would be, if I had one.)
Age: How dare you ask a Diva her age!
favourite food: Anything I don't have to cook myself.
favourite color: Diamonds
favourite number: The one and only number 1 (me, of course!)
favourite kind of music: The theme song for the Oscars.
Most embarrassing moment: How dare you even suggest I have one!
In my spare time I like to: I'll have you know that I am a world renowned movie star who takes her acting very seriously. I do not have time for foolish pastimes. I must rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! The show must go on!
If I had a million dollars I would: Still think I was being far, far underpaid for the amount of talent I possess! However, I would buy more stilettos and gloves. A girl can never have enough stilettos and gloves.
If I had one wish, I would wish: That little urchin, Simon, was out of my life for good! He's far too much of a bother.

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Edgar Ratsworth
Full name: Mr. Edgar Edward Ratsworth
Nickname: I do not believe in nicknames.
Age: I do not wish to comment.
favourite food: Garlic on pumpernickel
favourite color: All
favourite number: 3
favourite kind of music: Classical
Most embarrassing moment: I will not tolerate such imposing questions!
In my spare time I like to: Scrape my fingernails down the chalkboard.
If I had a million dollars I would: A million dollars! Oh, goody! I have thought this one through on many occasions. I would most certainly have laser eye treatments. And perhaps laser hair removal on my back, as well as perhaps a nose job and chin work. And following that I would most certainly... Wait! Why are you writing this down? You did say this interview would remain confidential, did you not? If you expose what I've told you, I will most certainly banish you to Detention Hall for breach of confidentiality. I demand you tear up that paper at once!
If I had one wish, I would wish: The world was free of Mugfords!

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Marion Bates
Full name: Call me Mad Dog or die.
Nickname: Nicknames are for wussies.
Age: 15
favourite food: favourite foods are for wussies.
favourite color: favourite colors are for wussies.
favourite number: favourite numbers are for wussies.
favourite kind of music: punk/grunge
Most embarrassing moment: If I told you that, I'd have to kill you.
In my spare time I like to: Polish my brass knuckles.
If I had a million dollars I would: Do whatever I want with it!
If I had one wish, I would wish: Death to wussies!

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Demlock
Full name: That would be Sir Demlock to you and the rest of your - ugh! - human associates! Shall I strike you down with my immortal Powers of Darkness now, or shall I wait until this wretched interview is over?
Nickname: Nickname? Nickname?! I have a sudden and insatiable desire to see you die a slow and painful death; writhing in agony and pleading for mercy from the very chair you're sitting on.
Age: Perhaps I shall summon my parasitic creepers to slowly entwine you and suffocate the very breath from your pathetic little lungs.
favourite food: Or perhaps I shall call down fire and brimstone to scorch your tender hide and melt the flesh from your bones.
favourite color: A persistent one, are you? Do my Powers of Darkness not terrify you? Hmmm... Perhaps I could interest you in a meeting with Sorgol...
favourite number: Oh, very well. I'll indulge you, for a moment, in your silly little game before I eradicate you: 6
favourite kind of music: My own, as you would most certainly expect.
Most embarrassing moment: I am sensing that I should have gone with my instincts and inflicted that oh so slow and painful death upon you three questions ago...
In my spare time I like to: Inflict slow, painful deaths... And devise diabolically implicit ways to capture the Elements! Ahhhh... There is no rest for the wicked (laughs). Am I not witty? Then why do you not laugh? Laugh, human!!
If I had a million dollars I would: Buy a real fur coat. Then I would have the rest of the money delivered to me in pennies which I would pour into a sack attached to a chain. I would then secure that chain around your scrawny neck and have you cast into the depths of the sea for wasting my precious time with these unimpressive questions!
If I had one wish, I would wish: Finally, a question truly worth answering! My wish is for supreme control of the Two Realms! And mark my words, human: my wish will soon be someone's command!

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Fangrot
Author's note: In order to obtain answers from Fangrot, I had to find a translator who speaks fluent Wolf. Not an easy task, I assure you.
Full name: Worthless Ineffectual Creature. That's what Demlock calls me all the time, so... uh... that must be my full name.
Nickname: Demlock likes to call me stupid, idiot, fool, and imbecile. You can take your pick. I kind of like the sound of imbecile, though, don't you? I-m-b-e-c-i-l-e...
Age: Uh, I think that has something to do with my shoe size... or, paw size...
favourite food: Yes
favourite color: No
favourite number: No
favourite kind of music: Uh, I guess I should say Demlock's... but since he isn't here, uh... promise not to tell? I'd choose a yodeler any day.
Most embarrassing moment: Huh?
In my spare time I like to: Ooh, Ooh, I know this one! Chase my tail.
If I had a million dollars I would: Uh, eat it? No, wait... spend it! Right?
If I had one wish, I would wish: Is this another trick question?

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Drofgum
Full name: Drofgum
Nickname: Now, I never did 'ave one o' dose before. Why don't ye makes one up fer me? I'd loves to 'ave one!
Age: Old as da 'ills, I tells ye!
favourite food: Pumpkin soup - 'tis some good, m'dear!
favourite color: I loves eart' tones, like brown and beige. Oh, and crimson.
favourite number: 7
favourite kind of music: Anyt'ing dat don't float along da trees!
Most embarrassing moment: Oh, my, dat would 'ave to be da time - long, long ago, I must say - dat I conjured up da wrong chant and called down a swarm o' locusts on me own birt'day party. See, I 'ad a terrible cold dat day and me nose was all stuffed and all. Da words jes never came out right and next t'ing I knew, dere were t'ousands o' da little rascals everywhere! Dey ate me whole bloody birt'day cake and all! Dem little creatures don't take too kindly to bein' shooed off, neidder. Dat was some embarrassin' I tells ye! And ye can be sure dat I ain't never done anudder chant wit'out clearin' me sinuses first!
In my spare time I like to: Whittle at me cane.
If I had a million dollars I would: Gruesome Goliath! What would I do wit' a million dollars? I'd get all me friends togedder and 'ave me a great big celebration, dat's what I'd do. And I'd buy everyone new toot'picks! Yes, my dear! New toot'picks fer everyone. Dere ain't nuttin' like gettin' a brand new toot'pick!
If I had one wish, I would wish: To 'ave da Elements restored to dere rightful place fer all eternity.

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Rama the Herbalist
Full name: I'm sorry, dear. I thought you already knew. My name is Rama.
Nickname: Oh dear. I've been called many things. My favourite? Now let's see; my favourite would have to be what Quar calls me: "Little Sis". Can you imagine? A woman of my age and stature being called "Little Sis" (giggles)
Age: Oh, my. Now that's a personal question, isn't it? Well, if you must know... let's see, I've celebrated my 29th birthday for the past 31 years. Oh, heavens! Did I say the past 31 years? Oh, my, no! No, let's get this right: the past 30 years. Yes, yes, that's right - the past 30 years.
favourite food: Oh dear. So many delicious foods to choose from. I don't think I can bring myself to make such a hasty decision. Why, there are so many lovely fruits and vegetables, and then there are the grains and oh, the milk products: cheese and cream and yogurt... oh dear, how does one choose a favourite?
favourite color: Oh, heavens. Such difficult questions. There are so many colors to choose from. How can one decide? Oh dear. Well, there's chartreuse, and then there's indigo. Oh, and maroon and aquamarine and topaz and jade and amber... Oh, dear me. Can we come back to this question later?
favourite number: Oh, dear, there are so many numbers to choose from as well. Now, let's see, there's 537, or 983, or 638, or, oh my, 432, or 531. Oh dear, I suppose I must choose. Okay, then, 983. No, no, 432. Definitely 432. No, wait, I've forgotten all about 770. Oh, dear, can we come back to this question later as well?
favourite kind of music: Tezeman tribal music, most definitely. Yes, without a doubt.
Most embarrassing moment: How long do you have, dear? I'd most certainly be able to fill your piece of paper a hundred times over. Let's see, there was the time I got caught borrowing squash from Sata's vegetable patch without asking first, and the time I tripped and fell face first into a pile of goat dung, and the time I accidentally tucked my skirt up into the back of my undergarments, and the time I ran out of the house forgetting to button up my blouse, and the time I mistook my brother Quar for a thief in the night and knocked him out with my rolling pin, and the time I accidentally laughed out loud at a funeral; shall I go on, dear?
In my spare time I like to: Oh, dear, I probably shouldn't be admitting this to anyone, but I do have a weakness for eavesdropping. And chatting, of course. Oh, how I love telling secre... Oh, my, I've said too much, haven't I?
If I had a million dollars I would: Most definitely give it those who need it more than I do. Oh, yes, that's definitely what I would do. Of course, I could use a new cauldron. The one I have is quite old and in need of repair. So, if it would be okay, I would buy a new cauldron and then I would give the rest to those who need it more than I do. Yes, that's what I would do. Oh, but then again my brother, Quar, could use a new crossbow. The one he has hardly shoots straight anymore. It's a miracle he ever hits his target with that old thing. So, if it would be okay, I would buy a new cauldron for myself and a new crossbow for Quar and then I would give the rest to those who need it more than I do. Yes. Although, the roof could use a re-tarring and the fire pit has seen better days...
If I had one wish, I would wish: To be thin again. Oh, but not too thin, because then, well, too thin is just not healthy. Oh, my, but that is vain, isn't it? No, no, I shouldn't be so vain and wish to be thin, I should wish.. to save the world. Yes, my, that's much better. I would wish to save the world! ...in a thinner body (giggles).

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Quar the Warrior
Full name: Quar
Nickname: The Warrior
Age: 67
favourite food: Rama's earth bean stew
favourite color: green
favourite number: 9
favourite kind of music: Tezeman tribal music.
Most embarrassing moment: I don't get embarrassed.
In my spare time I like to: Watch the Yegra Root do its work.
If I had a million dollars I would: Purchase a weapon that could destroy the Stone Dragon in one blow.
If I had one wish, I would wish: For my people's eternal freedom.

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