Charlie Hardie burst onto the literary landscape this week…I mean, really. Burst. Thankfully, FUN & GAMES by Duane Swierczynski is the first of a trilogy starring Charlie, because he has immediately endeared himself to readers, even though one would be hard pressed to describe him as endearing (read the book…it makes sense…promise).

Charlie is not exactly a “sit down and pour his heart out” guy–far from it. I’m grateful to Duane for indulging in a little bribery to get his answers. Here’s the conversation, starting with my email to Duane…

Ok, here are my questions for Charlie…if he’s inclined to answer them all, great, but feel free to pick and choose as well.

Erin, I asked Charlie to sit down to answer a few questions. He hemmed and hawed, but then finally caved in when I poured him a cold Yuengling and told him it would be painless. He took a long pull of the beer, looked me in the eye and said, “I seriously doubt that.”

The answers to the following questions are direct quotes from Charlie. This conversation takes place before the sordid events of FUN & GAMES.

1. What’s your favorite city–other than Philly?

Who says I even like Philly? I used to like Southern California because of the weather, but then I almost died in a wildfire, so that kind of soured me on the place. That said, a job came up recently, up there in the so-called Hollywood Hills. Actualy headed there in the morning.

2. If you could have only one weapon in a life-threatening situation, what would it be?

Could I have a Howitzer? Of course, that wouldn’t help at all if I was choking on a piece of steak in a restaurant or drowning or something. There are so many ways to die, I don’t think there’s any magic weapon that could save you from all of them.

Don’t meant to get dark here, but… this is kind of a touchy subject. I’ve watched people very close to me slip away, and there’s no worse feeling than the knowledge that you could have…

You got another question, maybe?

3. You’re a fan of old movies. What your top three favorite movies and/or actors?

Thanks for lightening up the mood. Freakin’ love old movies. I could watch anything with Audrey Totter in it. She’s a honey. Myrna Loy, too. And okay, here’s a weird one for you—Barbara Bel Geddes from Vertigo. Jimmy Stewart went all ga-ga for Kim Novak’s creepy reincarnation, or whatever… but he had this gorgeous sweetheart right there are at home, showing him pictures of bras and stuff. I wanted to throw something at the TV when I first watched Vertigo. Hello, dummy! That means she likes you!

4. What’s your favorite mode of transportation?

My own two feet. Everything else breaks down, sooner or later. Then again, I guess that applies to me, too. At least I could still crawl.

5. Who would be best suited to play you in a movie?

Why on earth would anyone ever want to play me in a movie?

6. Have you ever had any pets? What kind?

My boy once had a lizard, which he said reminded him of me. I wasn’t sure how to take that. Easy to care for? Cold-blooded? Armor-plated? The boy can be as cryptic as his mother.

7. What’s your favorite color?

Right now it’s black and white. Wouldn’t it be grand to see the world that way, just like in the old movies?

Anyway, thanks for these, even though I have no idea why you’re asking this stuff. I’d better go pack. Got an early flight, which means I’m sure something will go wrong, and I’ll be sitting in an airline terminal all damn day bored out of my skull. Have a good one.