RUSH: We have Addie with us from Tennessee, who has — I think — read my book. Hi, Addie. It’s great to have you on the program. Am I right about that? You’ve read the Rush Revere book?
CALLER: Yes, I have.
RUSH: You’ve read the first one, right?
CALLER: Yes, and I’m on the second one.
RUSH: Oh, you have the second; you’re on the second one. Okay, well, cool. Excellent. How can I help? What can I do? What do you need? What do you want? Why did you call? Make it happen.
CALLER: Well, I was just wondering how you got your inspiration for Liberty, because whenever I think of him, I think of Donkey from Shrek.
RUSH: Well, if you must know… I don’t want to give too much away here, but let’s say that there was a Scooby-Doo influence in the creation of Liberty.
RUSH: But what I really wanted, Addie, was what’s called a vehicle. Well, “vehicle” is bad term. I wanted a mechanism to actually do the stories. The thing I like about these books is that the reader is not told in third person about these events that are covered in the book. You, the reader, are taken to the event. The time-traveling horse, Liberty, takes Rush Revere and these students and the reader right back to the event.
You are there, as they board the Mayflower.
You are there, as they’re crossing the Atlantic.
You are there, as they land at Plymouth Rock.
You are there, for the first Thanksgiving with the Native Americans.
I wanted a smart-aleck, funny, sort of scatterbrained character that would provide the humor and the lighthearted not. But then when necessary the character is totally reliable, totally loyal, and always on time. Even if it looks like the character isn’t gonna make it. A scatterbrain, somebody you really never know what they’re gonna do next. That was the vehicle that the horse, Liberty, allowed me to create. Does that make sense?
CALLER: Mmm-hmm. It does.
RUSH: So Liberty is your favorite character, I assume?
CALLER: Yes, he is.
RUSH: Are you able to surf the Net on your computer?
RUSH: I tell you what. You know, Rush Revere has a Twitter account.
CALLER: He does?
RUSH: Yeah, it’s @RushRevere. Rush Revere has a Twitter account. I don’t. (Well, I do; I don’t use it.) But Rush Revere does so you can follow Rush Revere on Twitter. You can also go to the TwoIfByTea.com website, and when you get there, click on the Adventures of Rush Revere, and that will open up the entire Rush Revere and Liberty world.
And it’ll open up to the social center, Addie, where you can be interactive. You can post pictures and videos and see pictures, videos, and letters and stuff that other readers have posted. It’s really a fun thing, and we’re building it up and building it out, so to speak. Hang on, Addie. Don’t go away. I want to send you something but I’m out of time to tell you about it now, so hang on. Don’t go away.
RUSH: We sent Addie some audio versions of both Rush Revere books. That’s what I didn’t have time to ask her about ’cause had to go to break.
RUSH: You know, I ran out of time with Addie, that young reader of the Rush Revere history book series. She asked me a good question. She wanted to know what was the inspiration for Liberty, the time-traveling talking horse. Don’t forget, Rush Revere rode a horse. Well, Paul Revere. Rush Revere rides a horse. The horse is a time-traveling vehicle, but it’s the character of the horse.
She asked me if we modeled the horse after Donkey on Shrek. As far as that, no. I try to be as original as possible. Now, everything has been done. There’s no really completely totally original thing possible anymore, not since Genesis. But the character of Liberty, the talking horse, is something devised specifically by me to be what it is. It’s the vehicle for humor — lackadaisical, distracted, very smart, totally loyal, reliable.
But Liberty always keeps you on the edge of your chair wondering if he’s gonna come through. Funny, hilarious, fearless, all of those characteristics are intended to be included in the character. It’s not really modeled on anybody — on purpose. I didn’t want to copycat anything. But, understandably, it may remind you of other characters. Scooby-Doo, I mentioned, and these young people might not know who Scooby-Doo is.
Well, all the better if they don’t. But if they do, it’s at least some guideline as to what we’re going for here. Scooby-Doo may be in reruns still for the young skulls full of mush out there to partake of. So, anyway, did you hear how surprised she was when she found out Rush Revere has a Twitter account? Rush Revere tweets now and then. So we’re building that up.
We want there to be all kinds of interactivity between the readers and the characters, ’cause there’s a mission involved here. This is not just a project to sell books. There’s an absolute mission and a purpose here, and I’ll tell you: The feedback that we’re get, it’s working. Folks, we get some of the most wonderful stuff. I would love to show you. I would love to tell you about. I can’t yet.
Do you know how…? I will tell you this. Shortly after Obama was inaugurated, we got all these videos of kids singing songs that teachers had written about Obama. “Barack Hussein Obama! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!” We received yesterday four-and-a-half minute video of 25 or 30 kids at their school who had made a video that’s made to look like a television talk show with one of the kids hosting and the others as guests.
The guests have read the book, and they’re doing book reports/reviews of the book, and then all of a sudden they are outside on the jungle gym, and they’re going, “Rush, Rush, Rushing to history!” There are permissions involved, so we can’t just post this stuff, but we eventually did. This one was sent to a third party, so we have to go back and source it and get permission and all that.
We do have the Adventures of Rush Revere Web page at the TwoIfByTea.com. The Web page with the Social Center is there, which is made for readers to be interactive with the characters in the book. Just go look at it and you’ll see what it is all about. It’s the first thing that loads when you click on the Adventures of Rush Revere. I call it a portal, but it’s a link at TwoIfByTea.com.