RUSH: Angela in Murray, Utah. Glad you called, and welcome to Open Line Friday. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Yeah, you bet.
CALLER: I long wanted to call and tell you what my most favorite part of your children’s books are and I finally had a day off, so I got through. I’m very excited.
RUSH: I’m glad you made it through.
CALLER: I’m an avid reader, and my book club will often pick children’s books, and we often talk about the qualities of children’s books. Some these days are mindless and kind of things of little worth, but it’s amazing there are some great children’s books out there that, in short form, you know, they’re not very many pages, can express such meaningful things. And people keep talking about Liberty and how much they like her, or him. Sorry.
But the quality that I like has never really been brought up, so I wanted to do that today. I think that it’s her goodness — or his goodness. Sorry. I keep calling him “her” because I have a friend named Liberty. Anyway, what I valued most was the character of the character, not just the character. Does that makes sense? He’s kind, has good humor, very dependable, even though he’s kind of silly and acting funny and hungry a lot. Never a shallow personality, very caring and trustworthy and loyal. And I really appreciate having that goodness offered to the kids along with —
RUSH: You are very perceptive and shrewd, Angela. Would you pardon me if I inquired as to your age?
CALLER: I am 47.
RUSH: You’re 47. And yet you have a robust interest in children’s books, and you apparently read them and study them for content for whatever reasons that interest you.
CALLER: All books, but, yes, that is a genre. I have four kids and I can’t ever throw anything away ’cause I’m hoping for the grandkids to read, too, so —
RUSH: Well, let me just answer your question as to Liberty. Liberty, folks, is the vehicle that we’ve created to make the time travel possible. Liberty is a time-traveling, talking horse. We modeled Liberty after some people and other things in our lives. I don’t want to give it all way, but I will tell you this. You are very shrewd and perceptive to realize that about Liberty. He is the favorite character that we hear about from kids who read the books because they think he’s funny. He’s a little irreverent. He’s stream of consciousness, whatever he’s thinking about he just keeps talking until Rush Revere has to shut him up. You know what an Easter egg is, in a published work? Do you know what an Easter egg is?
CALLER: Like a treat that’s not found at first. You have to dig for, I guess, or hunt for?
RUSH: It’s exactly right, and it may never be found. I’ll give you an example of an Easter egg, folks. In the latest version of Apple’s word processes program Pages, there is a hidden file that if you find it, will replay for you Steve Jobs’ commencement speech to Stanford in 2005. There’s another Easter egg in Pages, it’s another Jobs greatest hit, if you will, but it’s the text. It’s not a video, although there is the video, it’s YouTube, but there’s the text of the Steve Jobs commencement speech, which is considered to be one of his best.
Now, there’s none of those. There are actually no hidden things that you have to find because you can’t hide things in a printed page in actual hardcover book. Electronic version, maybe. But when I talk about Easter eggs here, you’re right, there’s all kinds of philosophy in what Liberty says.
CALLER: Well, and I like how you build the characters. From book one to two, I can see them evolving and you learn more about each one, and their personalities and then how they grow, and so I kind of look forward to that in the following books, which I am counting on you doing.
CALLER: And I see, you know, all those qualities more open, I guess, because you kind of wonder sometimes at the beginning of reading the books, is Liberty gonna flake out and not be on time? But certainly not, I mean, very dependable. And not to have a spoiler, so I’ll be careful, but he does something to protect or save Elizabeth from something. Do you know which I mean?
RUSH: Yes, of course, and Elizabeth — well, see, I don’t want to give too much away, but Elizabeth is a character people wouldn’t mind Liberty not saving, but that’s as much as I’m gonna say. I just want to thank you. You’re extremely perceptive. The Liberty character is central to this in so many ways, and I am so happy you’ve spotted it. It’s not that it’s something to spot. It’s just that it’s there and I’m just glad you did. It’s very flattering that you’ve taken the time to get into it and see to it to that extent, and I really appreciate it.
I have to take a brief time-out. I want to send her the audios, Mr. Snerdley. If you hang on out there, Angela, so I get your address, ’cause I want to send you the audio versions, read by me, of both books.
RUSH: A couple other things about Liberty, the time-traveling, talking horse, since Angela in Murray, Utah, commented about it. There are two things about Liberty that you need to know. Liberty is a hero in our books. Liberty is of unallied moral goodness. Liberty is a character in the book constantly dependable, always dependable. You can count on Liberty, is always gonna be there. It’s such a great reinforcement, we think, for young kids, for a character like this. So I’m thrilled that she picked this up, and I thank her again. We’re gonna send her the audio versions of both books.