I had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Maxwell Unger from Christine Brodien-Jones' The Owl Keeper.
Look below to see what he had to hoot:
Hey Max, from the beginning to your present, how has your perception of Rose changed?
When I first saw Rose under the owl tree, looking all wild and acting kind of superior and everything, I was scared out of my wits! Rose was so bossy and annoying, and I never knew whether I could believe anything she told me. I didn’t even know if I could trust her! What if she was a spy for the High Echelon? But now, after our long scary journey together, we’re the best of friends, and I’ll do anything to protect her, just like my silver owl. I guess you could say Rose is my best friend in all the world (even if she still gets a bit bossy sometimes). I think she’s totally brave and amazing.
Have you always hated Mrs. Crumlin's cooking, and is there a dish that at least tastes slightly edible before you found out the truth?
Everything Mrs. Crumlin cooked was always burned and had a weird texture and made my stomach do flip-flops. She was always trying out these disgusting radio cook-show recipes. I guess when I was younger I sort of liked her griddlers, that is if I poured enough golden-eye treacle over them to drown out the metallic taste…
You say that you love the night, what are some basic things you like about it?
I love everything about the night: the way the dark wraps around me like a cloak, climbing the owl tree and sitting in the dark with my owl, gazing off into the forest (which can be a bit scary sometimes). I love the smells in the night, and sometimes the sound of a distant bird or animal (though, sadly, there aren’t too many left). I love the light of the two moons shining down and the way the cattails whipped at my legs and the overarching branches of trees against the sky.
What's one memory you can remember about a time when you went hiking with your gran in the woods?
When I was little I’d go tramping off into the night with my gran; back then the forest wasn’t so dangerous. My best memory is of us going deep into the forest, where I found a certain kind of fungus that glows in the dark. It was really cool and I was so excited I started jumping around and accidentally stepped on it. I started to cry, so to cheer me up, Gran told me a story about an Owl Keeper and these magical creatures, the silver owls. It was the first of many times that she told me these tales of how the owls were freed from a dark spell and about the Owl Keeper who, in times of darkness, gathered silver owls and Sages to fight the powers of evil.
How does it feel being so young and having to adjust to a fated destiny?
It’s kind of hard. Sometimes I think: why can’t I just be an everyday all-American kid hanging out with my friends after school and going to friends’ birthday parties and stuff? But I’ve always known, deep down, that I wasn’t meant to have, like, an ordinary kind of life.
Any last hoots?
I just want to say that if you’re looking for a pet, owls are the best pets in the world because they’re mysterious and loyal and they cough up owl pellets that sometimes contain interesting things.
I’m happy to meet you, LiLi, and I hope you like owls as much as I do. (:
Thanks for stopping by, Max! Pleasure to hoot with you. ;)
More about Christine and The Owl Keeper: