“The Brugan” by Stephen Moore. The plot, story & landscape

I want to talk to you about my older middle-grade / young adult fantasy “The Brugan”, which means… starting with a SPOILER ALERT! If you’d rather not know any of the ins and outs of “The Brugan” before you’ve read it… shut your eyes and leave now. (Come back when you have read it.)

As an author I get asked a lot of questions (no doubt you’ll recognise them). Where do you get your ideas from? What about the plot? The story…? The setting…? What came first…? And so on.

I wrote “The Brugan” back in 1998. The idea came to me not long after the death of my father. I wanted to see if I could write something that might include the theme of bereavement in a meaningful way. The permanent hole the loss of a loved one leaves in our lives; the thumping body blow it deals us knocking our world out of kilter. But wait up… Don’t I write fantasy adventure for older children?

Well, “The Brugan” has more than one thread to its story. The basic plot is simple. A twelve year old girl – Sarah Lemming – finds a mysterious Brugan’s egg. She hatches it. And unleashes the mischievous, not to say deadly, Brugan upon an unsuspecting world, a world in which he does not belong. And now she has to find a way to get him safely home. It’s a quest then… a fantastic, magical adventure that can be read simply for that. With all the hokum, the weird and wonderful characters, and furious action that goes along with it.

But then there’s that other theme… If we discover that the Brugan is physically lost because he is stuck in Sarah’s world, then we also discover that Sarah is lost too. Physically lost, because her mother has up and moved them into a new home, in a place she does not want to be, with the beginnings of a new family, she does not want. But more importantly, Sarah is emotionally lost. Her father has died; her relationship with her mother is broken; her relationship with her mother’s new boyfriend none-existent. It’s as if there’s a solid wall between them all. (Look carefully and you’ll also see the symbolism in the story.)

As is the way with all tales, there’s more to it than that… themes of loss, betrayal, love, hate, chaos, magical mischief and mayhem, all colliding… successfully.

And what about the setting…? I needed “The Brugan” to be grounded firmly in a real world. So I chose the English Lake District… I lived in the heart of the Lake District for a number of years. It’s a most rare and beautiful environment… a very special place. For hundreds of years it’s been a magnet for creative people of all types… most notably, the Nineteenth Century “Romantics” including the poet, William Wordsworth. And then there’s me… For those of you who know the country you might guess at some of the true origins of my fictional landscape.

Of all the characters in all my books Sarah Lemming is a particular favourite of mine. I’m proud of “The Brugan”.

Suggested readership: older-children/ middle-grade / young adult

The Brugan






“The Brugan”, a fantasy for children, or everyone?

My children’s fantasy, “The Brugan” was originally published in 1999. I’m pleased to say, it’s available again as an ebook. (Published by Crossroad Press in most formats). Among all the characters in my books, if I’m allowed to have favourites, then Sarah Lemming is one of mine.

Sarah Lemming feels lost. She’s twelve years old and her life is a horrible mess! Her father is dead. She detests her mother’s new boyfriend. And now they’re all moving into an ancient ruined cottage, that’s slap bang in the middle of nowhere!

And then there’s the Brugan! When he comes crashing into Sarah’s world she just knows that nothing will ever be the same again. He’s ugly. He’s smelly. He’s a vile shade of green. The grown-ups don’t even believe he exists! And it’s not that he means to be bad; it’s just that the Brugan is lost too! And his mischief is more dangerous, more powerful, more deadly than anyone could have imagined.
Can the Brugan ever find his way home? More importantly, can Sarah…?
Praise for “The Brugan”:

‘. . . Bringing together real scary things (such as a new father and a new baby) and unreal scary things (supernatural beings) is no mean feat. Terrific book.’ The Observer
‘It is an extraordinary book filled with adventure, mischief and magic in the air.’ Book Review
‘. . . An excellent book and I’d recommend it to everyone.’ Mizz

I wrote “The Brugan” firmly for older children (Middle Grade). If over the years, it has been discovered and taken to heart by readers of all ages… I Thank you.

The Brugan by Stephen          Moore

The Brugan