R. S. Markel

An Interview with Poullaire

In meeting Poullaire we were aware of his reputation for feistiness and were not disappointed, for he cuts a complex figure, he is simultaneously sentimental and irreverent. He possesses a deep intelligence which darts quickly between ideas; the wily Poullaire kept us on our toes.

The Interview

RSM: Greetings Mr. Plummage. I am so happy...
Poullaire: Mr. Plummage? Ha! Maybe for my father. Please, call me Poullaire. Or Mr. Poullaire. It sounds very well, no?
RSM: Agreed then, Mr. Poullaire it is...
Poullaire: No, no. I was only joking. Just Poullaire will do fine, no?
RSM: Certainly, Poullaire. Now that we have applied careful treatment to the formalities, on to the interview.
Poullaire: Yes! On with the interview. Ask away, Mr. Interviewer. Anything you want to know?
RSM: Well, yes. I have a number of prepared questions, standardized in a way.
Poullaire: Standardized? You are joking, no?
RSM: No. I wanted to have a few basic questions the same for everyone.
Poullaire: Well, that is fine. Do not expect standardized answers. Especially from me.
RSM: Sure. To be honest I was not expecting any.
Poullaire: Ah, you think you know me well?
RSM: Fairly. I have read the book a number of times.
Poullaire: Ha! I will surprise you yet.
RSM: Of that, I have little doubt.
Poullaire: (Grins)
RSM: For the first question, do you have any interests or hobbies outside of what was mentioned in the book you would wish to share with our interested readers?
Poullaire: Interested readers?
RSM: Please, for the moment let us apply ourselves only to the questions at hand.
Poullaire: You mean at wing, no? At wing.
RSM: Sorry, common phrase on this side of The Pond.
Poullaire: Very well, I am sure I would do the same. It is hard to break the habits given to us by others, no?
RSM: Agreed.
Poullaire: Well, let me see. Hobbies and interests. Certainly taking care of my family for one. You know Anati and Arela can be a little rambunctious, or a lot rambunctious, or even at times working to redefine rambunctious. And Monique, since The Edges of Things, she has changed much. When her mother passed, she was lost for a time, always thinking of her. She seemed to feel she was not living up to her ideals, and she felt now her mother would not see her grow into her own. But she has, and I am proud of her. She has eyes on the Mayor’s Office. I think she wants to do something, something magnificent. I know you asked me about my hobbies and interests, but that is where my thoughts are at the moment, my family.
RSM: You do surprise me, Poullaire.
Poullaire: Ha! See, I told you. You thought I was going to talk on and on about me!
RSM: I had my suspicions.
Poullaire: I love to show the contrary.
RSM: I know.
Poullaire: I thought so.
RSM: Might we return to the topic of hobbies and interests?
Poullaire: Certainly. So there is my family, and my work. I make things out of wood. Also metal and other objects I find here and there on The Farm. Monique enjoys to display them in the house. I think many of them are ugly, and I would not do so, but she thinks they are beautiful. She has a good eye, like her mother, so who am I to argue?
RSM: Yes, I see your point.
Poullaire: Good.
RSM: Anything else you would wish to add?
Poullaire: There is much to add. I could go into great details about my work, but we do not have that much time.
RSM: We still have a few minutes.
Poullaire: Ah, so you really wish to hear, no?
RSM: Yes, certainly. I was not aware of your passion for sculpture.
Poullaire: I have many passions. Art is one. In my opinion, art is anything where we create. It can be a flying machine, a great place, a structure like Chrysalis, a garden, a painting, a thought. All art. It is everywhere. My work is only the way I express it. Others express different ways. Do you wish to have more? I could go on and on. I have learned over time to not go on and on without asking.
RSM: I do enjoy hearing your perspective. You may continue, or we might go to the next question. We can certainly be a bit free form, somehow it would seem more befitting in this case.
Poullaire: I am glad you see that. I am not one for rules and rigidity. I know some feel comfortable under such burdens. Not me. It is crushing to my spirit. The Mayor’s Office, they can have it.
RSM: I see. You did not surprise me there. I know well of your circumspection regarding authority.
Poullaire: There is no hiding it, no? Authority is for those who do not know what to do. I look over my history books and see there are no great leaders, only a lot of poor followers.
RSM: An interesting perspective.
Poullaire: Ah! You may say it is interesting, but I am not certain you understand what I am meaning. Interesting is not enough.
RSM: Sorry. My reply was perhaps a bit vague. I do understand what you mean, but I will have to ‘chew’ on your words for a time.
Poullaire: Good. I have also to ‘chew’ on them often. I am never entirely certain of things, but the ‘taste’ is in the ‘chewing’, if you understand?
RSM: I believe I do. In conducting these interviews I have had to do quite a bit of chewing, and I have very much enjoyed it all.
Poullaire: Ah, I am very happy to hear that. So much to learn from each other, no?
RSM: Absolutely.
Poullaire: Any other questions? My stomach grumbles a bit for food. Never far from the mind, no? Philosophy is for those with the full stomach.
RSM: It is undoubtedly hard to abstract without having a decent meal. Speaking of, another question I often ask is for any thoughts or reflections on the events of The Edges of Things?
Poullaire: I believe I already presented one, no? Monique has changed. Anati has changed. Arela has changed. I have changed. Everything, always change. But some changes are certainly greater than others, and in this case, the changes were not small, not subtle, not easy to miss. Some change is for the worse, some for the better. I think we have grown, our changes are for the better. We made many new friends, and after what we went through, all of us together, I do not believe the bonds will ever be broken.
RSM: That is certainly good to hear, do you wish to elaborate?
Poullaire: Do you have a place for me to eat and to stay tonight?
RSM: Um, we did not anticipate providing accommodations.
Poullaire: Well, it will have to wait then.
RSM: I see. For a final question, do you have any insights or thoughts you would wish to share with our readers.
Poullaire: There are a thousand.
RSM: If you could choose just one?
Poullaire: Live.
RSM: Live?
Poullaire: Dream.
RSM: Dream?
Poullaire: Love.
RSM: Thank you Poullaire. I should have known.
Poullaire: Surprised? That was three words, three ideas, but somehow they are one.
RSM: Once again.
Poullaire: Good.
RSM: Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.
Poullaire: You are welcome. I hope you invite me back. I would enjoy talking again.
RSM: As would I. Someday. I will make sure of it.

The Books

Abselard

The Morning Conversation

R. S. Markel has invited Mr. Abselard, a dear porcine friend, confidant and resident of The Farm, to share a few thoughts on a wide smattering of topics gleaned from the pig's venerable tradition of the morning conversation. We do hope you enjoy this new addition.
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Hinsberth Running

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Sign up to receive R. S. Markel's newsletter "The Anati Daily" and receive updates on news and events and the forthcoming third installment to the heartwarming Lillybeth and Hinsberth trilogy.
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Hinsberth Presents

Speaking Engagements

Follow your dreams! Author, illustrator, scientist, engineer and generally curious character R. S. Markel is available to present The Wisdom of Ducklings at your next event or engagement.
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R. S. Markel
Photo by Tracy Burke Photography

Welcome!

I am a writer and illustrator of books for young (and young at heart) readers who have a passion for exploring fantastic places, impossible events, and the magic and mysteries of our world. Please feel free to read a bit about my work and peruse the character essays and illustrations. I do hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the whimsical world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth.

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