Paul may be the biggest fan, but he’s smaller than I am. His intense coolness factor makes up for his lack of stature, and one day soon he’ll get his growth spurt and then his increased height and his large coolness factor will combine to create some sort of superman. [*update* Since the initial writing of this article, the growth spurt in question has happened and Paul is indeed some sort of superman.]
But, until that day, we have Paul: freaky, whacked-out person.
Because he is my younger brother, he was able to receive an advanced copy of Tapestry of Power, and in two years, he managed to read it four times, thus earning himself the title of Jessica Menn’s Biggest Fan.
In mid May I got to sit down and talk with this very interesting young man. Even though he’s my younger brother, I learned things I never knew about him before. For example, he is the victim of a giant UPS Conspiracy, and he loves books by Tom Clancy. He has read The Hunt for Red October, and, after having done that, has no idea how anyone can enjoy the movie, because the book is so much better. He walks to the library often during the summer and checks out Tom Clancy books. Sadly, he has been unable to read Rainbow 6, because our English-language library in Wisconsin only has the Spanish translation of a book written by an American. :\
Paul doesn't particularly like books by C.S. Lewis. However, he thinks Tolkien rocks; he’s read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings four or five times. (At the time of this interview, he was only twelve years old.)
One of the things that kept popping up during our interview was the subject of Apollo Phoebus.
Paul: Oooh, he’s my little kitty kitty heisso cwute. He was just the cwuttest li’l ball of fwuff ever. Oh I love him....He is the highlight of my day. I come down and I’m like “Oh, it’s Apollo!” He doesn’t like me at all, but I find him very cute.
Jessica: Oh, I’m sure he likes you just fine. You’re the one who gives him the most attention. But, he’s a cat...
Paul: So, he likes to be alone.
Jessica: Right. But, if he hated you, he’d bite your nose off. Wouldn’t he?
Paul: He bit my cheek once.
Jessicaa: Oh, that’s sad.
But, even though the little Phoebus bit his cheek, Paul still loves him.
Paul: Phoebukins. Pollocat. It is so cute when I give him a treat. I hold it up in the air and he’s like “Oh!” He kinda stands up on his hind legs and sticks his little nose out and he’s like “meow meow meow” and tries to lick [the treat] all up.
In between talking about the adorable bundle of cuteness that is Apollo Phoebus Pollocat Phoebukins I managed to learn more about the Paul meister.
He’s a writer. He loves writing violent, war stories.
Paul: I was actually writing a story where the good guys were actually more bad than the bad guys.
Jessica: That’s a cool idea.
Paul: They were all dressed in black and the king was all evil. But, he had a cute cat. I got that idea from my cat.
Jessica: Awww. Li’l Phoebukins.
It is impossible to escape the little Apollo. His cuteness is overwhelming, and he has a way of grabbing your heart and holding you captive--this while he’s gnawing on your arm or hand.
But enough of this...what would an interview with the biggest Jessica Menn/Tapestry of Power fan be, without his thoughts on the book in question?
Paul: Yeah, it was good. That Orion guy was kind of violent. I liked that....I really liked the beginning when the Norians are getting wasted by the Delovachians. I also liked the last battle scene when all the people are like “we hate you Powers--let’s go kill ‘em”. That was pretty good. Especially, when Orion kills the goblin. That was like the cameo appearance of the day.
Jessica: Yeah, the “useless Russian extra--only now he’s a goblin”.
Paul: And, I’d have to say, I liked it whenever Abiel attacked. He was just so crappy.
And what did he have to say about Kozan?
Paul: Kozan...I don’t know about that guy. I liked how he sacrificed people though. I enjoyed that a lot. That’s cool--somebody just sacrificed people. That would be cool if the good guys just sacrificed all their enemies on a big altar. Why do the good guys always have to be so nice to their captives?
And that sort of sums up Paul; he loves violence and blood...though in a nice way :) He loves Braveheart and that scene in The Patriot when Mel machetes the British soldier. He was in heaven during the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Disturbing? Not really...he is, after all, an adolescent boy.
However, he liked more than just the battles. He really enjoyed all of the snappy comebacks Gideone made to Abiel’s really bad insults. And he really enjoyed anything having to do with Nightfall or the Dark Sorcerer, who were his two most favorite characters.
When asked who he would recommend this book to, he replied, “Basically, anyone who liked blood and guts and fantasy. This is a romance also.”
Our interview should have ended then, but he made sure to get one more thing in.
Paul: You have to get me a birthday present.
To which I was proudly able to respond, “I’ve already gotten you a birthday present.” And, a few days later he became the proud new owner of the Metallica Black Album.