Interview with Indie Lee Chickory of Tracing Stars By Erin E. Moulton

EEM: Tell us a little bit about yourself

INDIE: Hi, my name is Indie. I have a pet golden lobster named The Lobster Monty Cola, and I live in Plumtown with my parents and my sister, Bebe. It’s on the ocean. My parents have a small business in town called Chickory and Chips Famous Fishery, and my Pa is one of the best fishermen around. Bebe and I spent the past summer working in the local theater: Oceanside Players.

EEM: Yes, it sounds like you have had a super busy summer with the play. We heard you got in over your head. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

INDIE: You heard about that, huh? Figures. Well, listen, my summer was pretty good all in all. I made a new best friend, Owen. We built an amazing tree boat. Yeah, you heard that right.  It’s a boat in a tree. I had lost Monty—that’s the name of my lobster– but Owen and I managed to find him again, and I worked backstage with Sloth. Most of it was fun. There was just…you know, a few times when I made a couple of…. bad choices.

EEM: Bad choices? Like what?

INDIE: Wow, you don’t give up easily. Trying to be someone I’m not. You know, trespassing. Stealing a golf cart…sneaking out of the house all the time. Failing my best friend. You know, just bad choices. Can we change the subject, please?

EEM: All right, all right. How did you like working with Sloth?

INDIE: Sloth’s the greatest. She looks scary at first with her tattoos and face rings and spikey hair, but she really is the nicest. Not everyone accepts Sloth, because she’s, you know, different, but she accepts everyone.

EEM: We heard that your mom thought she was a bad influence. Does she still feel this way?

INDIE: Like I said, Sloth accepts everyone, but not everyone accepts Sloth. This doesn’t seem to bother her, and she just goes about being who she is. Mom was a real pain and demanded to come down to the shop and meet her. After about an hour of working with us, Mom decided that I was in good hands and left.

EEM: You said you made a best friend, Owen. Is he here?

INDIE: Yeah, Owen. He is my best friend. He isn’t here, though. He had to go out to Sentinel with his Mom. They’re starting a new life and all. But that’s ok. We talk all the time and he is coming back to visit his aunt again next summer. We’re planning on working on the tree boat, or maybe even another tree house. He says he has some ideas. He’ll think it up and I’ll figure out how to build it. We have a system.

EEM: So without Owen, are you looking forward to the upcoming school year? It must make you nervous to go back to school where you don’t have any friends your age.

INDIE: No, I’m not nervous. I know who I am now and I realized that if other people have a problem with that, well, it’s their problem, not mine. I think I’ll make a lot of friends and it’ll work out. Besides, they have all sorts of shows during the year at Oceanside Players. I am going to be helping Sloth out a ton. I already have a close network of friends there. It’s going to be a good year.

EEM: Are you and Bebe getting along any better since “the incident?”

INDIE: Well, we still drive each other a little nuts sometimes, but yeah. We are having a lot of fun together. Things are different. Better.

EEM: How the heck is Monty doing? Do you ever wish you had a dog instead of a golden lobster?

INDIE: Are you kidding?  I wouldn’t trade The Lobster Monty Cola for anything. He is doing great. He is back in his saltwater pool, but we also have a tank for him down at the shop. Sloth brought over another lobster, Malcolm. He’s a plain old red. But Monty seems to get along with him pretty well.

EEM: What do you want to be when you grow up?

INDIE: That’s a good question. I’m not sure. I love the ocean and all the marine life. I was thinking maybe a marine biologist. I also love the theater. Maybe theater technician. We’ll see what works out.

EEM: Do you ever go and visit the tree boat anymore?

INDIE: Well, as you probably heard, I’m not supposed to be on Mrs. Parson’s land. Only after the news got around town, Mrs. Parson came into Chickory and Chips and chatted with my mom. She said just as long as my parents are ok with me visiting the tree house, she is fine with it, too. So Bebe and I have been working on it together. We added sails, a big ship wheel, a lantern for the front and the back. We also fashioned a couch out of a couple of milk crates. Owen ended up leaving his telescope, so we do a lot of star gazing. We hang out there a lot. Mom and Dad even let the two of us camp out there one night. It ended up raining, though, so we had to run home halfway through and were soaking wet and laughing by the time we got there!

EEM: Thanks so much for chatting with us! Can you tell our audience what you’re giving away today?

INDIE: Sure, today we’re going to be giving away a signed copy of Tracing Stars, a book called Treehouses You Can Actually Build by Jeanie Trusty Stiles and David Stiles and a personal letter signed by me, Owen, and Bebe (and Monty, of course).

Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2007. She is the author of Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey(Philomel/Penguin 2011), and Tracing Stars (Philomel/Penguin 2012). Erin is co-founder of the Kinship Writers Association and is currently the YA librarian at the Derry Public Library. Erin lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband and puppy where she writes, reads, drinks tea and dreams. You can visit her online at or on Facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author), or find her on Twitter as @erinemoulton.

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