What do you hope they learn or take away from your stories Harry?
I dunno, I guess that kids should be confident in themselves and not let themselves get bullied around and how important good friends are.
You talk about being bullied by Titus in your middle school. What do you hope kids learn from you about how to deal with a bully-Titus?
Its not fun to be bullied. Its actually scary. Sometimes the only thing you can do is tell somebody that it is happening because sometimes it like wrecks your life. For me, I decided that I would try and make the bully my friend by being kind to him rather than being afraid. For me, it worked. It doesn’t always work. Believe me, I know.
You share with kids your love of magic, how did you develop that love? How did you learn to do magic tricks?
It wasn’t that I loved magic, but I loved being able to do things that surprised people. I liked hearing them say, “How did he do that?!” Along the way I discovered there was magic and that there was ‘real, deep magic’. That is when everything changed.
When you went to the magic store to get a wand for your magic trick (you were doing for the talent show); you met Mr. Samson. What was your first impression of him? What did you learn from him?
My first impression of Sampson was that he was a very old goofy guy. Not many adults pay attention to you when you are a kid. I liked him almost right away. He taught me the deep magic.
You and your mom can talk about anything. Even when you don’t agree with one another you know you’re loved. How does your family make you feel loved even when you are having a disagreement?
I think mainly by not yelling and talking to me like a person and letting me have an opinion that is different than theirs. When I am at my friend houses, I am always surprised how they are treated like babies by their parents and yelled at all the time. I would hate that.
You know your mom is not crazy about magic and tells you to be careful. Why is your mom not crazy about magic?
Probably because she doesn’t understand it. I think she is also afraid that magic will lead me away from God. Of course, its the opposite.
You and your mom have a discussion about “true power” and where it comes from. Can you explain to the kids what “real” power is and where it comes from?
Of course not. No really understands. It's a mystery.
Mr Samson from the magic store gave you a special rabbit. He’s more than a pet. Can you tell readers what it means to have rabbit who’s become your friend?
It means that I am never alone and that I have a friend that is always smarter than me and that will help me if I let him. It’s not easy having a friend like Rabbit. It means that I have to admit I might be wrong a lot. A whole lot.
I saw that your friend rabbit said to you, “having a friend like me has consequences” what does he mean by that?
Well, if you had a friend like Rabbit, you wouldn’t ask that question.
What was your favorite story you shared with readers in your new book, Harry?
I think the first time Sarah kissed me. Yikes.
Which story was the hardest for you to share? Why? What do you hope kids take away as you share it?
That’s easy. Its my relationship with my parents. Its in all the stories. Sometimes kids make fun that I am so close to my mom and dad. When you are in 8th grade, its cooler sometimes to put your parents down and stuff. So its kinda embarrassing that we get along, even though we argue sometimes. I guess I would want kids to know that their parents may be cooler than they think.
What keeps you sane in the middle of craziness? Hope in the middle of stress and life’s storms going through middle school?
Life in eighth grade and living in Sleepy Hollow can drive you crazy. Rabbit keeps reminding me to keep my head up and to look behind everything to understand what is really going on. He also reminds me that a lot of kids can be mean and to remember that a lot of them are really hurting.
What three things are you most thankful for in life?
My family, Samson and Rabbit. And of course, Sarah.
Can you give us a sneak peek into what adventures you’ll share with kids in your next book? When will it be out?
I think the Sleepy Hollow story actually is twenty-one stories. They are all coming out over the next 18 months. I will just say this. Oink is going to get his.
What’s the best advice your parents or close friends has given you? How has it helped you?
That is easy. It's from Rabbit: DO NO EVIL.