Friday, January 18, 2008

Lightning Days by Colin Harvey

For anyone who would like to share information about one of the female characters from their book, this is what I need from you: Copy the interview questions below into a new file, answer each question from the character's point of view and save the file as an RTF file. Once the interview is complete, send the file and a jpg of the cover art to I schedule these interviews as I get them. Let's find out more about the man in your book...

1. What is the name of the book where we would meet you? What genre is it?

My name is Corporal Brian Davenport of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment. I appear in an SF novel called Lightning Days.

2. Who wrote the book?
Colin Harvey

3. What do you think of the author? You can tell us the truth.

He's not a bad bloke - for a civilian. He seems to have more of a clue than some of the people who try to make war out as some sort of exciting adventure. He understands that often it's boring, and sometimes its scary, and most of the time we don't have a frigging clue what half-arsed idea the politicians are going to come up with next. He was at pains to point out that he wasn't depicting the Territorials as incompetent, but that we've been sold down the river by the various Governments who always want us to do more and more, on less and less budgets.

4. Tell us a little about yourself. How would you describe your appearance? That's more than just really cute or drop dead gorgeous. Give us enough detail to get a clear idea of how you look.

I'm about 5' 11” tall, and skinny with it. I scraped past the medical, but I could really do with bulking up a bit. Harvey describes me as looking a bit like Stan Laurel, and I'm thinning on top a bit (that's losing my hair, for those of you who don't understand Brit-speak). I've got slightly goofy teeth.

I know I'm no oil painting. I couldn't believe it when Kelly asked me out; I'd fancied her for ages, but thought she didn't even know I existed.

5. What character are you in the book? Are you the hero, the best friend, the side kick, the hero and heroine's child or someone else?
I'm the hero's second-in-command, and I'm charged with getting the vital information back to the Government.

6. Is there a specific reason why you're in the story? Don't give us any story spoilers, but you can share some teasers if you want.

I get to be heroic at the end! I team up with an American corporal who's a --what do you call it - a gangbanger? (That has a different and ruder meaning in Britain!) and we get to abseil into the final firefight all guns blazing.

7. What time period do you live in?
Right here, right now to quote the Old Jesus Jones record.

8. Where are you from?

Northampton, in the UK midlands.

9. Do you live in the same place now?
I'll be going home at some point, but I may be taking a long way home.

10. Tell us about your hometown and your current home.

Nothing very much happens in Northampton; it's a Midlands town that used to be known for shoe-making, before such industries moved to cheaper countries. Alan Moore the graphics artist (V for Vendetta) comes from there, that's its main claim to fame really.

11. Tell us how your hometown or your current home effects you, the things you do and how you feel about life?
I'm just an ordinary bloke. But like lots of ordinary blokes, there are times when we become something close to heroic.

12. What special skills or abilities do you have?

I can read a map, and shoot a gun and change the oil in a car, but lots of blokes can do that. I keep saying it, but I'm just an ordinary man.

13. How do those affect your part in the story?
Weeeell, like I said, I need to get the information back to Downing Street, and when that job is done, I head out into the wilds.

14. Are you happy with the story?

Yes - I like the way that he's ended it. And to say more would be to spoil it.

15. Do you have some ideas that the author should consider about the story? You can share them with us. We're all friends here.
He should have shown more about the effects of the disasters that afflict our world; I understand that he did some, but he had to cut it to make it more commercially acceptable. Apparently publishers can't take big thick Tom Clancy-sized books by unknown authors. Anyway, I think that he should have put even more in, but he and I have agreed to agree to differ.

16. Tell us about your past. Can you share one really good experience and/or one really bad experience? I know that bad experience can be tough, but it would tell us more about what you've been through.
The worst was leaving Blake and Lawson behind to die. I'm still not sure that I can forgive Cassidy for that. You don't leave your mates behind, whatever the causes - sorry, I'm welling up; can we talk about something else?

17. Who is the most important person in your life? Tell us about them.

I used to think that Kelly was the best thing that ever happened to me. They say that some women go off it after they've had kids, and anyway, I don't see that us separating was down to that. It was just one of them things. And anyway, if Kelly and me splitting up was the price we had to pay for Daisy, then I'll live with that.

Because the very, very best thing that ever happened to me was the birth of our daughter Daisy, a year ago. Being a Dad was just such a proud moment. I changed the way I saw the whole world. If I have to fight and die to protect her, then I'll do that.

18. Is that person in the story we're talking about?

No - if she'd been in it, then bad things would only have happened to her, like they did to that nice Mrs. Kaminski.

19. What do you see in your future?

Going home in time, but it may not be a straightforward journey.

20. Do you think your author is going to write another story about you? Or, are you part of a series?

Not a prayer! I think Harvey's allergic to series…

21. Do you like being a character in a book?

That's a bit like asking you if you like being alive! What sort of daft question is that?

22. If someone ever decides to make a movie based on your story, who should play you in the movie and why?

Hugh Grant. No, I'm joking. If it's CGI, it could be Stan Laurel. Or maybe Christopher Ecclestone from Dr. Who and Heroes.

Its been great to talk with you. If you want to tell us anything else, feel free. Also, tell us about a website where we can learn more about you and where we can buy the book. If you have a picture of yourself, feel free to send it.

Cheers. Check the book out at

Listen, I know I'm a bit rough-spoken - I'm not good with words, like you book-ish types - I hope all this made sense. Sorry, there's no pictures of me available. We're working men, not models .

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