First off, I have to compliment you on your name: Artemis Rose. Wow, that is definitely a show-stopper. Anyways, welcome to ChicaReader, Rose! Now to get down to business, how would you describe your first encounter with Max by the owl tree? What did you think when you saw his golden-eyed, fragile silver owl?
Hi LiLi. I like my name too, it’s very special because I’m named for the moon goddess Artemis who was strong and brave, like I am, except the real Artemis knew how to shoot arrows (but maybe one day I’ll learn how to do that too). When I very first saw Max I thought: who is this scrawny scared-looking kid wearing the weird hat with a bobble and earflaps? I knew he was upset to see me there and I thought well too bad because I go where I want in the nights and nobody can stop me.
But I also realized this kid was special, because he was out in the night, not like most people who’re afraid of the dark. Then I saw this owl up in the tree and it didn’t look too good because its wing was sticking out funny and its eye was only half-open. But its wings were all shiny and silver! Max kept saying it was some old barn owl, but I knew he was just trying to trick me.
Throughout your journey with Max, I noticed you tended to have a whole mess of adventures together. What were some of your best times during those beginning thrilling times?
Lots of our adventures were really scary and we had some pretty close getaways, so they were good and bad all at the same time. But I had fun kicking over Mrs. Crumlin’s basket of muffins and stomping on them and seeing her face go red – she was so mad! It was fun, too, trying to figure out the owl’s message and all that stuff about the prophecy. And even though I was scared out of my wits, I loved the way we left the fortress when the wolf chased us (but I’m not telling you any more about that because you have to read the book to find out what happened!)
How was life growing up with a rebellious father and having a hard time trusting anyone anywhere you were?
Both my parents were secret rebels against the High Echelon and I think that’s very cool. My father always told me to be a free spirit and to think for myself. He said it was important to trust my instincts and not believe everything people told me just because they were adults—especially if I thought they were, like, spies or worked for the High Echelon.
If it's not to painful could you tell us something you remember about your mother before she was falsely incarcerated?
I remember we were hiding out in a place called Tattersall Heath and all around were cornfields and orchards and red-gold wheat and junked tractors and there was this shut-down theme park and my mom and I walked around it and there was this ride she said was called a merry-go-round and she lifted me up on one of the painted horses and we laughed and laughed.
When you heard Max's tales about the Owl Keeper, what was your initial feeling/reaction?
I’d never heard of an Owl Keeper before and I thought Max was just making it up. I told him too bad the Owl Keeper’s not real because we could use somebody around here like that. But he kept saying the Owl Keeper was real so I told him that the Owl Keeper better hurry up and help us because things were falling apart left and right.
Most importantly, how was it that you could cope so well it seems--since you were always the tough one--with the spurts of blindness in the final journey?
Hey, did you forget my name or what? I’m Artemis, the goddess of wild things who was totally fearless and shot her enemies through the heart with arrows! I can handle anything because I’m super tough and I never, ever give up. (On the other hand, I guess you could was glad to have my friend Max along when things got really bad)
And finally, how do you feel about Max? What changed about you when you really got to know him?
Well, Max was pretty lonely and he didn’t know a lot of things because he was stuck inside his house all those years with that old biddy guardian and he was totally clueless about what was going on with the High Echelon and everything. But Max was so kind to his little owl, and that really got to me, and the more I hung out with him, the more I started to think he was kind of mysterious.
Then we ran into the forest and even though Max was scared to death he did lots of brave things and didn’t give up, and he helped me out when things got really bad. One time we thought wolves were going to get us and Max said if anything happened would I remember that we were friends. That was so cute! Like we were olden-day friends and we’d be friends forever.
Any last hoots? (Or should I say barks? Growls? Hmm...)
If you ever get a new dog, especially a shaggy black one that barks a lot, and you don’t know what to name him, then I know a great name: Helios. Helios was a sun god who drove the chariot of the sun and I can’t think of a better name for your dog.
Thanks for the kindred anecdotes, Rose!