The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck
by Stan Swanson
Things are not as they should be in Pennywhistle. Enchanted toasters are not toasting, enchanted sprinklers are not sprinkling and Hobart Hucklebuck's origami messenger birds are suddenly attacking him. Someone seems to be draining the power from all of the enchanted items in the village. But who could it be and why have they implicated Hobart's grandfather?
The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck: Magic & Mayhem follows Hobart and his friends, Specks Spacklethack and Rosie Rumpleskirt, as they try to solve this mystery and free Hobart's grandfather from the Tower of Tribulation on Mumblemonk Mountain. The trio's investigation into the mysterious happenings on Druid Lane gets them into hot water more than once and ultimately brings them dangerously close to disaster not only for themselves, but the entire village of Pennywhistle.
The book is aimed at ages 8-12 but as an adult I found it wildly entertaining and a load of fun!
Character Interview with Hobart Hucklebuck
1. Hobart, quick, describe yourself in seven words or less!
Seven words or less and do it quickly? Wow, that sounds harder than some of my school work. And I’ve already gone over seven words. Sorry.
2. Tell us something about your current hometown.
Pennywhistle is thoroughly thermal and the best place I have ever lived. Well, actually, it is the only place I have ever lived, but I still really like it here. My family is here although my parents are usually gone on archeological trips to Inner Gonmolia or some strange place. When they’re gone I stay with my grandfather who lives on Druid Lane. And there’s some great stores here like Frimpy’s who has delicious double dogs, Carmelita’s Candies and Confectionaries (and what kid doesn’t enjoy a bag of Tummy Ticklers?) and, of course, Twirlin’ Merlin’s Enchanted Toy Store. If you ever visit, come meet me and my best friends, Rosie Rumpleskirt and Specks Spacklethack.
3. What's the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Lots of strange things happen in Pennywhistle, but I think I should let you read about them.
4. What's your favourite food?
I love the double dogs down at Frimpy’s, but Flora Flaxenfluff (my grandfather’s housekeeper) makes a great bowl of stinkpot stew and her pickleberry pie has won ribbons at the local fair.
5. Can you tell us a little about what to expect in The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck?
Well, I hate to say it, but we get into lots of trouble trying to figure out why all of the everyday items in the village are losing their enchantments. And then my grandfather gets blamed for the problem and they lock him away in the Tower of Tribulation high up on Mumblemonk Mountain. And things just get worse from there!
6. Can you tell us something about yourself we don't learn from the book?
I hate to say this (and don’t tell anyone else, okay?), but I’m starting to like girls. I use to sort of put them in the same category as bantering blunderbeasts and nefarious nosenibblers. But I’m slowly changing my mind. (And they smell much better than Nefarious Nosenibblers, too.)
7. What is your author Stan Swanson like?
He’s okay, but he sure gets us into lots of predicaments. I mean, he almost gets us killed in the first book. I’m not sure if he intended to do that or not, but I have to admit I thought me and my friends were goners. But he does have a great sense of humor and we have lots of fun even when he’s not trying to put us in dangerous situations.
8. Name five items in your purse or pockets right now.
Let’s see. I have a Tummy Tickler that is covered with lint. A self-winding yo-yo. An enchanted flashlight. And a piece of string from my kinetic kite. Oh, and a potion that’s supposed to ward off cats. (Which doesn’t work, so don’t spend your money on it. But most people seem to like cats, so never mind.)
9. What was your first impression of Delphenia Dragonwart?
That lady gives me the shivers. I think maybe I would rather meet up with a cat in the middle of the street than her. I don’t know. It’s a close call. I still haven’t figured out whether she can really see into the future of not. (I hope she doesn’t read this. She’d probably put a spell on me or something.)
10. If you had one chance to change anything about your life, what would it be?
I wish I had the same ability to do magic as my grandfather. Or even most of the other kids in my class. I am not very good at performing magic. They say it’s becoming a lost art since everything comes from the factory already enchanted these days, but I still get frustrated. I can’t even make a decent blastball and kids learn how to do that when they’re only three or four. Maybe someday...
About the Author
Stan Swanson is a Bram Stoker award finalist and author of eight books including Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead (the first book in a young adult horror series co-written with Araminta Star Matthews), Wind Up Hearts (a romance novella with a hint of steampunk), Forever Zombie (a collection of short stories), Write of the Living Dead (a highly-praised writing guide written with Araminta Star Matthews and Rachel Lee) and Return of the Scream Queen (co-authored with Michael McCarty and Linnea Quigley). He is also editor/publisher for Dark Moon Books and Dark Moon Digest. Upcoming titles include Dead Sparrows (a collection of apocalyptic poetry), The Methlands (a horror novel co-written with award-winning author Joe McKinney) and The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck: Pandemonium in Pennywhistle.
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