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Character Interview: Harmon Burke from MD Moore’s family saga novel ‘Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy’




Waiting for the CoolWe’re thrilled to have here today Harmon Burke from MD Moore’s new family saga, Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy. Harmon Burke is a 44-year old antique dealer/furniture restorer living in Point Defiance, WA.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Harmon.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?  No, I’m afraid MD did a pretty good job telling my story.  There were a few times that I felt that I sounded a little pig-headed and it pissed me off a little when I first read it and to be honest with you, I was going to say something to him, but then when I tried to form my argument on my behalf, I realized that MD didn’t say anything that wasn’t true.  It really was a ‘the truth hurts’ moment.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?  I don’t know.  Again, I think of myself as a pretty level-headed guy and sometimes I thought the book made me sound angry a lot of the time.  I did say something to MD about this and he said that the times that I wasn’t mad or my life wasn’t going piss-poor were, how did he put it, oh yeah, boring.  He told me to picture my favorite movie.  I pictured Goodfellas.  He said, “Ok, now take out the mobster killings, the drug dealings, all the beatings and the violence.  Replace it with Henry Hill taking his kids to the movie, going school clothes shopping and sitting around watching TV.  How about brushing teeth and using the bathroom or whatever he did on the off-killing nights.  Would that be a movie you’d want to see?”  I conceded his point.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?  My undying loyalty to my family.  I’d do anything for them.

Worse trait?  The same.  Sometimes doing anything has gotten me into a little trouble with the law.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?  You know, it’s funny.  I actually thought about this when I was reading the book.  You kind of can’t help yourself as you read about you in the pages of a book.  This was kind of a tough question as you run through the list of actors that immediately come to mind.  Brad Pitt – too good looking.  Hugh Jackman – more my size, but too nice, doesn’t have enough of an edge.  Vin Diesel – again, a big guy, but almost too tough, and bald, which I’m not but it would still work in a movie. I thought of him as a good runner up.  I guess if I had to pick, it would be Ed Norton from his American History X movie.  I know he doesn’t have my build so much, but he showed that he can bulk up and he just has an intensity that I seem to have, but can also be family-centered and soft when he needs to be.

Do you have a love interest in the book?  Same one I have right now.  My sweet Emmy.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?  That’s easy.  When I began to realize that I might be able to make a future with my mom, Cece, thanks to the counseling I was getting from Boyd Freud, I know, weird name.  He really was helping me understand how she ticked and how I might be able to tick with her instead of against her and then she gets attacked by one of the other patients in the mental hospital and is put into a coma.  I knew that if something were to happen to her, I wouldn’t be able to make things right with her and that I might not be able to even apologize for some of the shitty things I’ve done to her.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?  That’s an easy one, too.  That wound be Frank.  Man, I didn’t like that dude as a kid and I like him less as an adult.  I mostly forgot about him until he started messing with my wife, Emmy.  As far as why, I guess because of how he is.  I mean, here’s a guy with money and power and influence and he seems like the most unhappy guy I’ve ever known.  All he’s ever seemed to want is what he can’t have.  It almost seems like a prerequisite for what he wants to begin with.  As much as I don’t like him, there’s still a little in me that feels sorry for him.  I saw where he was raised and knew the mean shit that raised him.  I don’t think he had a chance.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?  I feel that it’s a good ending.  Not the perfect American ending that so many books I’ve read seem to have, but still good.  True to life.  Wrapped up, but a little messy – not quite finished.  There are things I wished I’d done and things that I’m glad I didn’t.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?  Don’t.  The sequel is never as good as the original and since things have settled down for me and I’m on the strait and narrow, it would read like Goodfellas without the good stuff.  I promise you, you don’t want to read about me in the bathroom, though it could fill a two-hour movie (laughs).

Thank you for this interview, Harmon Burke.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?  Only if they ever make that movie you asked about.  The limelight was a little brighter than I thought it would be and now I need to focus on my family.  Thank you for all you do for us little guys.



A native of Tacoma, Washington, M.D. Moore worked as a therapist in Washington State’s most acute psychiatric hospital. Moore currently serves as a rehab director at a long term care facility serving veterans and their families. A member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, M.D. Moore lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with his wife and sons.Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy is his debut novel. Visit M.D. Moore online at:


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