A half an hour before sunset on his Texas ranch, Humphrey Herbert Plumtree sits on a leather recliner in his country home in Marble Falls. As the main character in my newly revised middle grade book, H.H. Plumtree’s Secret Kingdom he transforms on many levels. As the room darkens, Humphrey leans over to switch on a bronze lamp. Lamplight glints on his vintage eyeglasses as he drawls polite answers to my questions. He places a bottle of root beer on the wagon wheel coffee table, avoiding the coaster.
Blog Reporter: No coaster? In the book, H.H. Plumtree’s Secret Kingdom, you seem so fretful. So worrisome. I never placed you as a no coaster type of guy.
HHP: Oh, you noticed. (He scratches his nose and smiles.) I was just trying to fake you out. You know, make you think I’d become more daring. (He laughs.)
Blog Reporter: I’ll say, without spoiling the book, that you sure become more daring as the book goes on.
HHP: Yeah, I do. My friend, Maribel, helped me a lot.
Blog Reporter: Do you and Maribel still spend time together?
HHP: After all we went through, I was worried. Maybe being my friend was too dangerous for her. But no, she’s stuck by me.
Blog Reporter: So, most of our readers today don’t know anything about your story. What, if anything, can you tell us?
HHP: Last year when I was ten, we flew to California and my parents went to a geology conference. They didn’t want me to become bored in the hotel room, so they dropped me off, you know, at the curbside of Downtown Disney.
Blog Reporter: Wow, sounds like every kid’s dream-come-true!
HHP: You’d think that, huh? Have you even been to Disneyland alone? It’s not as fun as you’d think. Plus, I had company. You know what I mean?
Blog Reporter: I do. But your readers today may not understand what you mean. Are you speaking of The Lunatic?
HHP: Yes siree, I certainly am. I came into this story with some secrets, but my parents had a few secrets of their own.
Blog Reporter: What kind of secrets?
HHP: Well, I’d tell ya, but then I’d have to murder your houseplant . . . get it? Murder your houseplant, like Mother did to Lanie.
Blog Reporter: Ah, yes. That’s a subplot in your book. Now, speaking of being alone in Disneyland . . . as you know, this blog reporter featured a post during the early development of H.H. Plumtree’s Secret Kingdom where I spent a day alone in Disneyland, tracking your adventure. A real eye opener. If any of our readers would like to read that post, the link is included here:
HHP: Yeah, but it wasn’t all bad. That’s how Maribel and I became friends.
Blog Reporter: True. If this book gets picked up by an editor, I’d like to do another interview with both you and Maribel. Do you think she’d be game?
HHP: Heck, yes. She loves the limelight, way more than I do.
Blog Reporter: Excellent. One last question. My next blog interview is with Abigail Rose Calantro from my other middle grade novel, Long Way to Brooklyn. I heard you all had a chance to meet? Is that true?
HHP: Yes! A few weeks ago, I was visiting my sister, Lanie, in New York City. While hanging out at The Plaza Hotel in Central Park, I met Abby and her family. They’re great people.
Blog Reporter: Nice. So, you make a cameo appearance in her book, Long Way to Brooklyn?
HHP: Yeah, I do. It was an honor.
Blog Reporter: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Humphrey. I look forward to seeing your book out there someday.
Stay tuned for my next blog interview with Abby Calantro from Long Way to Brooklyn. She’s a feisty eleven-year-old girl who has much to say about her Latina family’s curious adventures.