LG Surgeson is a writer and teacher who lives in a cottage with a garden full of fairies by a river in the middle of Wales. She lives there with her long-suffering partner and their two 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.
LG hasn't always lived in the wilds of mid-Wales. She was born in 1980 in Durban, South Africa and emigrated to the UK at the tender age of four. She grew up in sight of the Isle of Wight, right on the south coast of England, which was as far North as her folks could be bothered to go. She ended up in Wales when she was eighteen – after going away to university in Aberystwyth and stubbornly refusing to leave when she had finished her degree.
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 is a life-long dream of hers, since she fell in love with Jo Marsh in Little Women when she was very small. She has always written stories, her first book about a naughty kitten was completed at the tender age of seven and illustrated by her mother. From then on, it went from bad to worse. She writes novels, blog posts and articles. She believes it's important to write about what you know so the novels she writes are either fantasy adventures or semi-autobiographical stories about teachers. Both are equally believable. Currently, the first three novels in The Black River Chronicles are available to the public at large, with more to follow. These are definitely fantasy – and contain lots of magic, near-death and goblins.
LG has been writing the Black River Chronicles for the best part of a decade. The world and characters were born from a setting for a live action roleplay game called Aberddu Adventures that she worked on for twelve years when she was young enough to go out on school nights. Many of the characters are based on those of her friends – which is why all the novels are dedicated to characters in the stories. She is currently working on her seventh book set in the world of The Black River, which will complete the second triology.
She also writes blog posts and articles (with significantly less goblins) about things that she would rant about if anyone would listen. Mostly, these are on the subjects of education, mental health and sexuality. Sometimes, people read them.
In the real world, LG pretends to be a responsible adult well enough that someone has employed her as a maths teacher. She teaches maths and art in a special school for learners with emotional and social difficulties that lead to challenging behaviour. As jobs go, it's certainly fun and often unexpected. When she's not doing that, and has been prised away from the keyboard, she likes to poke about her garden upsetting the fairies
Never make LG laugh, you'll end up being quoted in a novel.
Interviews & media
LG's blog - Summer of Fire
Read Write Club
Underground Book Reviews
Elizabeth Newton's blog
Angela Chrysler's blog
Sunshine Somerville's blog
Belinda Crawford's blog
DM Cain's blog
Timothy Bates's blog
Amazon UK review - Summer of Fire
Summer of Fire - author's notes
Summer of Fire has been described as a tale of truly epic proportion. It maps the circumstances that lead to the two catastrophic events that occurred during the summer of 1102 – known every after as The Summer of Fire. Each of the two events – a war among the Gods and the rise of an evil overlord – is enough to shake the world alone, but they are inextricably destined to occur at the same time. The characters in this story are ordinary members of a Guild of Adventurers who have the misfortune to find themselves standing in the path of both events and have some mind-blowing choices to make.
The Summer of Fire is a major turning point in the history of the story's world. The sort of event that touches every single person, that people recognise as a massive point of change. Life before the Summer of Fire will be spoken about like a distant past. Characters throughout the Black River Chronicles refer constantly to the Summer of Fire.
When I was writing this book it was really important that I convey exactly how far reaching the events of the Summer of Fire were. I used the structure of the book to help me out with this. The first part of the book is a collection of short snippets that make up a whistlestop tour of the continent visiting key events that were – in retrospect – either portents or vital information relating to one or both of the events. The story then follows some of these characters into the second part of the book – what happened when the continent realised what was happening and started to do something about it.
As much as I wanted this story to be sweeping and epic, I didn't want it to be cold and distant. The story is told from a close-up, emotive perspective following a number of characters. The story has ensemble cast, like an effective team of adventurers there is no one hero, just a group of jobbing adventurers being done over by fate. Notable mentions include Krieg Clan Dragon – a fearless but rebelious Tartar warrior, who tries to escape his destiny; Mori & Daisy – two priestess whose quiet faith has a unique strength; Pringle – who started out as a hapless drunk and ends up a hero; and Elor – a stressed out wizard with more portents than he can handle. They are by no means alone.
As for the inspiration for this tale, I owe it to the people who helped me with it to tell you. For twelve years, I was a 'referee' for a local live action roleplay system called 'Aberddu Adventures'. I, along with my team, created plots, antagonists and scenarios for this game. At the same time, I was also writing novels set in the real world. One day, I suddenly realised that I should combine my two passions. Summer of Fire is based on plots and scenarios I and others created for the games, and many of the characters were at least, in part, created by friends and players who played in these games. That's why this, and all the other books in the chronicles, are dedicated to characters from the story.