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Artemis Fowl is back! A Q&A with Eoin Colfer

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Aug 2, 2018, 2:00 PM EDT

Artemis Fowl is back and Disney is all-in on the boy-genius criminal mastermind. There’s a movie in the works for summer 2019, and a set of brand new covers with some brand new stories for the fantasy series that launched in 2001.

Written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl follows its title character as he deals with fantastical beings and megalomaniacal villains in madcap adventures set across eight books. “With the Disney movie releasing next summer, we felt this was the perfect time to give the Artemis Fowl series a bold new cover look that will attract today’s readers,” says Colfer’s editor, Stephanie Lurie. Today, we’re sharing the covers of Books 1-4, illustrated by Goni Montes, with Fowl fans for the first time. These books aren’t just repackages; they also tease new stories set in the Artemis Fowl universe. The Fowl Twins follows Artemis’ young twin brothers doing what a Fowl does best: saving trolls from noblemen and nuns (you know how it goes).

The series is a beloved one, and the excitement for a movie is palpable, particularly within the Disney-Hyperion offices. “This is a monumental first for us, the first time a Disney-Hyperion book is being made into a film by our own studio, and what we hope will be the start of many more," said Emily Meehan, editor-in-chief and associate publisher. "We have always thought of Artemis as one of the perennial gems of our list and now the company is turning these books into a franchise. We thought it was the perfect time to take a bold new step with the packaging, but also to ask Eoin to return to this world with the new story, which we are happy to be excerpting in all the books.” Eoin Colfer sat down and answered a few questions about the series and the new movie. 

Artemis Fowl 1 Repackage

It’s been 17 years since the first Artemis Fowl book released to the world. What do you feel like you’ve learned since then about writing?

Sadly, I don’t feel like I have learned anything much, except maybe to slow down a bit because my aging brain can’t keep up the pace. I suppose another thing I have come to appreciate is my audience. When I began writing I would purposefully not allow anyone else’s expectations to influence what I was writing, but now having met so many Artemis Fowl fans since 2001, I cannot help but think of them and their excitement when I am working on an Artemis-related project and I really don’t want to let them down.

The movie is on the horizon, what are you most excited to see come to life on the big screen?

Even though the books are all WHAM! BANG! BOOM!, when you strip away all the fireworks, they are really about relationships and family. I am excited to see those connections being brought to life by the fantastic cast.

Artemis Fowl 2 Arctic Incident repackage

Often there’s a seriousness to fantasy novels, but the Artemis Fowl series is so funny. Why was it important to you to include levity in the life of our favorite criminal mastermind?

I find funny comes naturally to me. I have tried to write serious books but they always take a humorous turn so I thought I would take a genre that is usually quite serious and bring the funny, like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams did before me. The trick is not to sacrifice the adventure and innovation. You have to know when to make ‘em laugh and when to make ‘em gasp. It’s a fine line.

Artemis Fowl 3 Eternity Code repackage

If you could cross Artemis over into any other series, where would you most like to see him cause trouble and save worlds?

I would love Artemis to meet up with Jonathan Stroud’s genie Bartimeus. That is a whole lot of mischief in one book. The worlds those two could conquer together.

What do you hope fans discovering the series today take away from the novels?

I don’t like strong-arming readers with messages, but having said that, some values do creep in. Like many books for younger people, the values of friendship and family are plain in the text. I think my third bugbear is the environment and how little care we are taking of it, so there is usually an ecological issue in the books. Issues like animal extinction or nuclear waste.

Artemis Fowl 4 The Opal Deception repackage

What would you like to leave our readers with today?

I am delighted that Artemis is being unleashed on another generation of readers and that they have attained a certain cult status among the original readers. My dearest hope would be that families would read them together and quote the jokes to each other. A middle-grade literary version of binge watching a favorite show.

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