When the white feather fell… along came Mina

Most magical creatures are quite easy to identify.  A creature with scaled skin and a tendency to breathe fire? A dragon.  A bird that is re-born from its own ashes?  A phoenix. An immortal horse with a pointed horn on its forehead?  A unicorn.


But there is one magical creature which is almost impossible to define. But for those truggers (moontrug fans) who have written in and asked what on earth a moontrug is, I’m going to do my best to explain it to you. Well, ish – because the most magical things of all usually live outside the frames of explanation.  So in terms of personality, the closest thing to a moontrug is David Almond’s Mina (from Skellig and My Name is Mina). A moontrug’s mind is not full of useful information like dates and plans; it is full of wonder, feathers and stars.  Just like Mina’s:


A moontrug’s mind doesn’t waste time longing for loads of money and fancy cars; it spends its days thinking about how cool it would be to be a bird.  Just like Mina:


When most people are doing sensible things like passing exams and completing homework, a moontrug will do strange things without even realising it.  Just like Mina:


So who is this Mina and why is she so moontruggy?  Mina first appears in David Almond’s award-winning book, Skellig, as a free-spirited, home-schooled girl who helps the part-owl, part-angel creature, Skellig, with Michael.  She is full of wonder at the world around her – she loves nature, birds, drawing and William Blake’s poems – and she defies school and all its rules. Within pages readers fell in love with Mina but they had to wait another ten years to see her re-appear in the prequel, My Name is Mina (Click here to buy it on amazon).

My Name is Mina

Almond reveals, ‘For the 10th year anniversary of Skellig, my editor asked me whether I would write another Skellig-style book.  I remember standing in the threshold of my kitchen and just as I was trying to back out of writing another Skellig book, a white feather drifted past the kitchen door.  Immediately I thought of skylarks, owls and blackbirds – everything Mina cherished.  I knew it was her calling to me and that I had to write her story this time.  And after that nothing could stop her – she was banging on about William Blake’s poems all over again – and then she was writing all over the page before I could get a word in edgeways:


So a moontruggy personality is a Mina personality – wild, free, full of wonder and strangeness.


And a moontrug’s appearance?  Some days it’s mer creature with silver scales.  Other days it’s a unicorn with mighty wings.  Other days still it’s a loud-mouthed goblin with a massive grin.  And sometimes – just sometimes – it’s a miniature elf with ridiculous stripy leggings.  Because that’s the thing with magic: it never stays the same…

David Almond Signature

2 thoughts on “When the white feather fell… along came Mina

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