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Eoin Colfer at Porter Square Books

Last Sunday my almost-ten-year-old and I went to Porter Square Books to see Eoin Colfer. Though he was on tour for his adult book Highfire, the gregarious author did not disappoint his Artemis Fowl fans and other kids'-book devotees.

After a musical performance by Colfer superfan band Captain Sunbeam, the author related some very entertaining stories about his childhood in Ireland as one of five rambunctious boys. This included using his baby brother as a human remote control; and later* trying to convince their mother that he'd been a figment of her imagination.

*The littlest Colfer once fell out of the family car while he was traveling in the trunk; it was the 1970s.

Colfer read from Highfire ("about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana—and the raucous adventures that ensue when he crosses paths with a fifteen-year-old troublemaker on the run from a crooked sheriff"). Because there is swearing, the author replaced the book's profanity with the word "sparkle," a detail that cracked my own kid right up every time. The Q/A session featured writerly nuts-and-bolts queries along with some Artemis Qs ("What did you enjoy most about Artemis's character development?").

As always, thanks to our friends at Porter Square Books, especially Sarah Rettger, who heroicially transcribes each and every Talks with Roger interview -- including this one with Eoin Colfer about Illegal. Check out the store's events calendar -- Grace Lin on Sunday! -- there's a lot coming up.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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