NOSEY: Greetings, cybernuts! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter. I’m coming to you from…um…er…what’s this? *reads sign nailed above Entrance*… ‘No Dummies Allowed. Well, O.K. Maybe Just One Nosey Reporter’…*scratches head* Wonder who that’s meant for?
WOMAN’S VOICE: *echoes* N-O-S-E-YYYYY….
NOSEY: Aacckkk! *shrieks* Who said that?
*Light flickers and woman holding lantern approaches* Nosey, you’ve gone all white.
NOSEY: *clutches chest and staggers back* A-and you’re all yellow.
WOMAN: What? *eyes narrow* I don’t like what you’re implying.
NOSEY: I just meant… *swallows* You’re covered in something yellow.
WOMAN: Right. *dusts down front of shirt* It’s not exactly clean in here.
NOSEY: Here? *pivots around to take in surroundings* Where is here?
LG: Ssh. *lays silencing finger to lips* I’m Lynn Lovegreen. Remember our appointment?
NOSEY: Oh, s-sure. Name’s familiar, but, uh, lady, you gotta admit… *drops voice to whisper*… scheduling to meet this reporter in an isolated location like this—
LG: Excuse me?
NOSEY: Well, I have to wonder, uh, what sort of scenario you had in mind.
LG: *crosses arms* Surely you aren’t thinking I brought you here to steal Gum Drop Island chocolates from your tacky blazer pockets?
NOSEY: I just thought— hey, whadda ya mean ‘tacky’?
LG: *clicks tongue* Nosey. I arranged to meet you here for one purpose only. Look. *casts lantern light down length of walls*
NOSEY: *gasps* What’s those sparkling yellow rocks?
LG: This is a mine, Nosey. A gold mine.
NOSEY: Holy yellow brick road. *whistles* All we gotta do is follow it, huh? Heh heh.
LG: Heh heh, nothing. We have to keep one step ahead of claim jumpers.
NOSEY: Claim jumpers? You don’t mean— *leaps away from walls*
LG: Not spiders. No.
LG: Huh uh.
NOSEY: Then what? Green toed froggies?
LG: A claim jumper’s got nothing to do with frogs. Really, that’d be unfair to the frogs.
LG: *nods* Yeah, because claim jumpers are humans who take other people’s mining claims.
NOSEY: Wait. I’m confused. What does mines, frogs, and clams - um, I mean- claims, gotta do with scheduling a date with me?
LG: A date? *frowns* With you?
NOSEY: Sure. *checks notepad* Says right here: ‘Lynn Lovegreen, meet for interview date…’ Oh.
LG: *giggles* Right, Nosey. Interview date. Like, you know, for my book, ‘Quicksilver to Gold’. *slaps book in Nosey’s palm* I don’t think you’ll have trouble reading the blurb in this light, will you?
NOSEY: ‘Course not. I’m a professional, you know. *straightens tie* Who wears famous tackless blazers.
LS: Tactless. Right. *nods* My mistake.
NOSEY: Ahem. Interview, take one— *glances across shoulder* Um, why do I get the feeling little beady eyes are on me?
LS: Just a reflection off the gold. I assure you, you’re - um- *peers down tunnel and edges away* perfectly safe. Uh huh. But, there is a, uh, a draft. Yes, a draft. Maybe you should get started? *looks again toward dark tunnel*
NOSEY: Er, well, okay. Here goes: ‘Gold mining is in Jeannie Kelly’s blood. But it’s a dangerous time to be an honest miner in Nome, Alaska—claim jumpers have invaded the territory. Jeannie has set her sights on Clint Tilghman, the strong, quiet man next door to her family’s claim. Clint fights his feelings for the impulsive lady miner, fearing he’ll lose his independence. Jeannie tries to change her tomboyish ways to attract Clint and gain respect from others, but there’s a lot to learn amidst gunplay and bar fights. Jeannie must woo Clint and beat the claim jumpers before summer’s end.’
NOSEY: Egads! *throws down book* Gold mining’s in her blood? Is that contagious? Am I gonna get sick?
LG: *mutters* How should I answer that?
LG: *grins* No, silly, it’s not contagious. It just means Jeannie comes from a mining family. Her dad and brothers are miners, and she grew up mining. Hm… *brow furrows in thought* Maybe reporting is in your blood?
NOSEY: Don’t be nosy, lady. I ask the questions here.
LG: Oh, that’s right. *lays wrist to forehead* How could I forget your skill? Your flair? Your gift of gibberish?
NOSEY: Heh heh. *puffs out chest* A fan after my own heart.
LG: *coughs* Er, just your listening audience. How about asking something about my hero, Clint.
NOSEY: As a matter-of-fact, I was just gonna do that.
NOSEY: Yeah, right. Yeah, uh… let’s see - well, if he’s so afraid he’ll ‘lose his independence’, why doesn’t he go back and find it where he discovered it in the first place?
LG: Good point. Maybe he could. *shrugs* But losing your independence is like losing your good looks — you can’t get it back. *mumbles* Of course we’re assuming you once had—
NOSEY: Huh? *leans closer* You said something?
LG: Never mind. *waves dismissive hand* What else can I tell you about Clint?
NOSEY: Well, something’s sorta bothering me.
NOSEY: Uh, how can I put this? *tugs at ear in awkward gesture* See, it’s not what you can tell me. It’s what I can tell you about Clint.
LG: Is that so? Like what?
NOSEY: Something you’ve got a right to know. You mentioned Clint was rebuffed by Jeannie. But you wanna know why?
LF: Since I’m the author, I think I know why.
NOSEY: No, you don’t.
LG: Yes, I do.
NOSEY: You don’t.
NOSEY: Listen, I’m trying to tell ya! Clint gets rebuffed ‘cause he found that autographed Nosey fan photo that Jeannie carries in her locket. Yeah! So now how are they gonna make up?
LG: *hoots with laughter* Nosey, Nosey. Why do your interviews always end up about you?
LG: *wipes tears from eyes* Actually, I’m not going to tell you more about their romantic difficulties because I don’t want to give any spoilers.
LG: You’ll just have to read the book to see if there are any Nosey fan photos mentioned.
NOSEY: *snarls* That’s cheap.
LG: *spreads palms* So are your interviews.
*Loud clang sounds in distance. Nosey jumps* Holy headless horseman! What was that shadow that passed by?
LG: Something really spooky. *holds up lantern* That draft caught your profile and stretched it up the wall. *points* See?
NOSEY: Yikes! *crouches behind LG’s shoulder*
LG: Maybe we should move toward another section, huh, Nosey? *glances down length of tunnel*
LG: Come along. *takes Nosey’s arm and heads down opposite end of rail track*
NOSEY: Drafts. Shadows. Clam jumpers. *shivers* Why do you even want to set your books in this dangerous Alaskan wilderness?
LG: It’s home.
NOSEY: A gold mine is home?
NOSEY: *whispers* Why do you wanna be quiet?
LG: We don’t want your shadow to overhear, do we? *glances behind and quickens step*
LG: Anyway, to answer your question. No, my home isn’t a mine. It’s Alaska. And I also enjoy the odd characters who live there— hey, have you ever been to Alaska, Nosey?
NOSEY: *stops to stare at LG* You mean we’re not in Alaska now? Then where am I?
LG: Look around. *gestures at rock walls* It’s sure not Kansas.
NOSEY: *snaps fingers* You’re right. Aw, fudge. Why do they pick me to go on these crazy author assignments?
LG: You know how it is, Nosey. You’re continually searching for the next Pukelitzer Award interview.
NOSEY: And this one’s no candidate, lady.
LG: *looks offended* Think again, Nosey!
NOSEY: I’m telling ya. No way.
LG: *taps foot angerly* I suggest you explain yourself.
NOSEY: Put it together, gal. Shadows, drafts, clams. Even your own Jeannie says, ‘there’s a lot to learn amidst gunplay and bar fights’. Playing with guns too? And fighting with bars? Or… *eyes narrow in suspicion* is that fighting with bears?
LG: *snorts* Have you ever tried to fight a bear? Trust me on this one, their teeth and claws give them an advantage.
NOSEY: *winces* Ouch. I bet. But—
LG: But, in this case, it’s more like those old-time Western movies where people have fist fights in the bars and muds. Though… *shakes head* I never understood why so many movies have fights in mud. Maybe they think it’s Gum Drop Island chocolate and it’ll taste good?
NOSEY: Hm. *rubs chin in consideration* That’s a thought.
LG: And a good one too. So why couldn’t my interview be put up for a Pukelitzer Award?
LG: Wait. *pulls Nosey to one side* I hear something.
NOSEY: W-w-what? *huddles close to LG*
LG: Your teeth chattering, for one thing. Do you mind? *strains to push Nosey away*
NOSEY: Oh, drats. Your Jeannie was right.
NOSEY: When she said it was a dangerous time to be an honest miner.
LG: Hm mm. There’s no arguing with a sensible woman.
NOSEY: Yeah, but wouldn’t it be safer to— you know…
NOSEY: Maybe be — sorta dishonest?
LG: You wouldn’t be suggesting I could write dishonest main characters, are you? I’ve never been so insulted in an interview! *stomps off in other direction*
*Shadows jump out from nearby tunnel*
NOSEY: *shrieks* My headless horseman shadow! It’s alive!
TWO MEN (OR WEIRD-SCIENTIFIC-EXPERIMENT-GONE-WRONG) APPROACH: Ye hear that, Tuffy? *one elbows the other* He don’t know what we be.
OTHER MAN CACKLES: Should we tell ‘im? *cackles again* Clam jumpers, pal. Real high kickin’ clam jumpers.
TUFFY: We hear ye talkin’… *nods at tunnel* ‘bout goolld.
NOSEY: Gold? Er… *twitches nervously* Not me, buddies. Huh uh. No way.
TUFFY: Looky ‘im, Snuffy. He got whole mouth full o’ goolld.
NOSEY: *backs up* Whoa, fellows. That’s just my dazzling, gorgeous, super Nosey white pearlies.
SNUFFY: Purls, eh? *pulls out giant sized pliers from back pocket* Ye must be wearin’ million bucks worth.
NOSEY: *slaps covering hand to mouth, and then screams* Ms. Lovegreen! *turns tail and races down tunnel* Help! Help! Heellppp!
LG: Hey, guys! *calls out to weird-scientific-experiment-gone-wrong claim jumpers who leap and bound after Nosey* You’ve got it all wrong. Nosey’s nothing but fool’s gold!
Available at Amazon
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. Visit her website to learn more. You can also find her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
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