Monday, June 20, 2011

Character Monday: Who is Harvey Marsburg?

SH: We're talking this week to Chris White, co-author of Airel with Aaron Patterson. Chris is a relative newcomer to the scene here, but he's one to watch...or so we've been told. He's got an illustrated kids' book out right now called The Great Jammy Adventure of the Flying Cowboy, and that's the OK-to-color-in picture book. This year alone, he's releasing two more books, though. One of them is The Marsburg Diary, and the other one is an all new novel, K: phantasmagoria that he's writing all by his bad self, right?

CW: Rumor has it.

SH: The Marsburg Diary is sort of a spin-off of Airel?

CW: Yep. It’s based on the prologue to Airel, and delves deeper into the plot that was introduced there, centering on William Marsburg as seen through the lens of his diary. For Character Monday though, I'd like to focus on William's son, Harvey Marsburg, who is drawn into reading his father's diary by circumstance, and then by necessity, as it turns out in the end.

SH: So. Who is Harvey Marsburg?

CW: Ol’ Harv is a British expat who moved to the States about thirty years ago; when he was nearly twenty. His father William died shortly after going totally nutters, when Harvey was about ten. Harv has issues about that. The move to America, to put everything behind him, was a logical decision for Harvey, and he couldn’t wait to grow up and get out. He has an older brother named Jack, but the details of that are still top secret.

Harvey is a complex guy. He’s bitter toward his father, but he doesn’t like that he’s bitter. He’d rather things had worked out—maybe—he’s grown quite used to life as he knows it; the bachelor lifestyle, and he prefers to live unmolested and alone. He’s not much for fending for himself, though. He gets by on a trust fund and dumb luck. What he usually makes for dinner is a phone call for takeaway. He has tried to assimilate into American culture by driving a massive old Ford from the early seventies, but he’s still unafraid to rankle people who’d rather be politically correct—he hates all that crap. He has a massive Ruger six-shooter for home defense, but it’s kinda clunky in his hands because he’s not that self-assured.

Harvey likes old blues, old books, thin crust pizza, and has a secret crush on the neighbor’s wife, who looks like a wildebeest when she comes out each morning for the paper. “Even wildebeests need love,” he’d probably say. Harv lives in the tiny little American village of Chatham, Illinois by himself. He has no pets. He likes playing the board game Axis and Allies by himself for weeks at a time, is addicted to Dr. Pepper and cigarettes, and abhors exercise of any kind.

SH: He sounds like a total loser. So anyway, when’s the book out?

CW: The Marsburg Diary releases as a digital short on Kindle next month, if all goes well. If not then, Look for it in August.

SH: What’s up for Character Mondays next week?

CW: You’ll have to wait and see; I haven’t decided.

SH: That’s messed up. You were supposed to be prepared here.

CW: Well I was. But I decided just now to change my mind about it, and I remembered that I forgot.

SH: That doesn’t make any sense.

CW: Yes it doesn’t.

SH: Okay I’m pulling the plug on you.


  1. Hilarious! I can't wait for The Marsburg Diary!

    Michelle V

  2. I'm super glad to know it! I just need to get cracking on the cover artist and finish up the proofreading. Soon!