Greetings. This is Quill Jones of the Young Adventurer’s Gazette, Rocky Mountain USA Branch. Obtaining today’s interview was no easy feat. We traveled long and far to Ryder Hunte Clancy’s Land of True Enchantment, to Scotland the brave, a place abundant with adventure and mystery. Here we met Finn Cornelius Smith, a spritely young lad who isn’t afraid to answer a good question. We found Finn to be just as wild and majestic as the Scottish Highlands from which he hails. And we know you will too!
Q: Hello, Finn Cornelius. Thanks for sitting down with us today. I always like to start with a good ice breaker. What did you have for dinner last night?
FINN: Is my Nanny here?
Q: Your Nanny?
FINN: Aye, my Nanny, the old dear that brought me here.
Q: I think I saw her on the couch out front. But what does that have to do with what you had for dinner last night?
FINN: So...she’s in the house?
Q: Yes. Last I checked she was here.
FINN: On the couch?
Q: Correct. But it looked like she was, well, she was snoring.
FINN: Oh, okay. So, she’s asleep?
Q: I think it’s safe to say that, yes. She’s out for the count.
FINN: Right. That makes sense. It is her nap time, after all. Okay, I’ll tell you what we had for dinner last night. We had liver and parsnips.
Q: Liver and parsnips? That sounds…interesting. Did you like it?
FINN: Oi! Are you serious? I hate liver. But don’t tell my Nanny I said that. It’d probably upset her to know that I never eat it. You see, she thinks I do....she thinks that I like liver and parsnips.
Q: Oh, and how’s that?
FINN: I hide it in my napkin when she’s not looking, and then later, after she’s gone to bed, I take it out back and chuck it over the garden wall. Don’t let on that you know that, though. She gets the liver special from the butcher all the way in town. She’d skin me alive if she knew I wasn’t devouring every last bite.
Q: Don’t worry, I won’t tell her. It sounds like you really don’t like liver. Although at least it wasn’t haggis, right?
FINN: Oh, haggis! Haggis is dynamite!
Q: ‘Dynamite?’ That’s…a good thing? ‘Dynamite’ means it’s good?
Q: So you like haggis?
Q: I guess I’ll have to try it sometime.
FINN: Too right, you will! It pure reeks when it’s cooking. But don’t mind that. It tastes brilliant.
Q: Did you at least have something good for dessert?
FINN: I hardly ever get dessert. Nanny doesn’t believe in sweets. Not even for special occasions. But, sometimes she’ll give me a licorice chew. She keeps them in the top drawer of her bureau. They’re pretty foosty though.
FINN: You know...like...rotten. I think you Yankees would say “nasty” or “gross.”
Q: Ah, I see. Thanks for explaining. You can do a pretty good American accent, by the way.
FINN: I have some American friends so I’m used to how the Yankee accent sounds. Sometimes I have to speak like them so that they can understand me. They say I talk way fast and that my accent is too strong. I don’t know what they’re talking about though. THEY are the ones with the accent. Not me. Do you think I’m hard to understand?
Q: I must say your Scottish brogue is quite pronounced indeed. It’s charming, though. Do the girls like it?
FINN: Eh…I don’t know how to answer that question. All of the girls here speak just like me.
Q: Do you have a girlfriend?
FINN: Excuse me?
Q: Are you in a serious relationship with anyone?
FINN: Mate, I’m only fourteen years old. I’ve got more important things to worry about than girls.
Q: Like what?
FINN: It’s a secret.
Q: Okay, then. What’s your biggest secret?
FINN: I’m not sure you realize how secrets work. It wouldn’t be a secret anymore if I told you…although it’s tempting. You seem like the type that would enjoy my secret. But...I can’t say it.
Q: Ha, you’re quite the character, Finn Cornelius.
FINN: It’s just Finn. Only Nanny calls me Finn Cornelius.
Q: Gotcha. Sorry about that. Where were we?
FINN: You were trying to get me to share my biggest secret with you.
Q: That’s right. And you’re sure you can’t tell me?
FINN: No, ‘fraid not.
Q: Can you at least give me a clue?
Q: Just a little teaser.
FINN: Okay, okay. Let’s see…did you know that Scotland is often referred to as the ’Land of True Enchantment?’
Q: I did not.
FINN: Well, there yeh go.
Q: That’s it? That’s my clue?
Q: That’s not much to go off of.
FINN: Mate, that was a really big clue!
Q: Ha! Well, I must not be a very good guesser.
FINN: That’s not true. You seem like a really good guesser to me.
Q: Are you taunting me?
FINN: Not at all. I’m dead serious.
Q: Perhaps we should move to the next question.
FINN: That’s a shame because I think you’d really like my secret.
Q: Okay, you are taunting me. I can tell by the way you’re grinning. You enjoy a good joke, don’t you?
FINN: Aye. And that’s definitely NOT a secret. Ask any of my friends. I’m always up for a good laugh.
Q: Who’s your best friend?
FINN: Monte Darrow is my best mate. He lives just up the road at Downfield Place. He’s a wee bit older than me but we get along great. We go to the same school. His uncle is headmaster there.
Q: Ah, so does Monte follow all of the rules? Since his uncle is headmaster?
FINN: Psh, hardly!
Q: You two must be quite the pair.
FINN: Oh, aye. We have loads of fun, Monte and me.
Q: That’s great. Does Monte know your biggest secret?
FINN: Of course he does. He’s my best pal.
Q: I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ll try not to be offended that you won’t tell me.
FINN: You’re preaching to the choir.
Q: Touche. So here comes my favorite question. You ready? What’s your superpower?
FINN: My superpower? As in magic? Do I look like some sort of sorcerer or something?
Q: You could totally pass for a wizard.
Q: Too bad magic doesn’t exist, right?
Q: You don’t seem convinced.
FINN: No, no. I am. Convinced, that is. I know it was just a silly question. And you’re right, magic isn’t real.
Q: Are your ears turning red?
FINN: Nope. They don’t feel hot at all. What else you got?
Q: Let’s see…last question. What’s your earliest memory?
FINN: It’s fuzzy.
Q: I think it’s like that for most of us.
FINN: No, that’s not what I meant. I have a very early memory and it’s as clear as the babbling brook out back.
Q: So what exactly is fuzzy about it?
FINN: I remember being very little...a wee bairn...
Q: A wee what? A wee BARN?
FINN: No, not a barn. Those are for cows. A bairn. Like a baby.
Q: Oh! Right.
FINN: I was a wee bairn and I was lying in a basket lined with a soft, fuzzy blanket. We were outside and the crisp air was tingly on my cheeks so I kept rubbing my face against the blanket. There was music all around me, and shimmering, glittery lights in the tree branches above. Some sort of party was going on.
Q: That’s very early to have such a vivid memory. Was this party here, in Scotland?
FINN: I don’t know. But I remember my parents looking down at me. They had rosy cheeks. They looked happy. It’s one of the only memories I have of them. They died soon after.
Q: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
FINN: It’s alright. I don’t remember them much. Just that memory, really.
Q: That’s a great memory to have then.
FINN: Too right. Now can I ask you a question?
Q: I…well...it’s a little unconventional but okay, why not?
FINN: What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen here in Scotland?
Q: That’s a great question! I’d have to say that big mountain out there…what’s it called?
FINN: Ben Nevis.
Q: Yes, Ben Nevis. That’s a pretty sweet mountain.
Q: You seem disappointed. Not the answer you were hoping for?
FINN: It’s not that...Just promise me you’ll stay away from that mountain.
Q: Why’s that?
FINN: Well, they don’t call Scotland the “Land of True Enchantment” for nothing now, do they?
Q: What do you mean?
Finn's interview can also be found on the Metamorphosis Literary Agency blog!