Sunday, June 5, 2011

Character Interview + Contest: Kurt and Danny from Leverage

I've cornered two more characters for an interrogation! Er, I mean, Danny and Kurt, the protagonists of Joshua C. Cohen's Leverage, were nice enough to sit down with me for an interview. But in all seriousness, this book is absolutely stellar and awesome, and I fell in love with both of these characters. Danny is a gymnast, small and lanky and a target for the football jocks, while Kurt is massive, new to the school but on the football team, and also has a stutter. So with that, I bring you guys Kurt and Danny, and stick around after because they're bringing you a chance to win their story!

Kari: Thanks Danny and Kurt for being here today. To get things started, can you tell me something about each other?

Danny: this thing recording? It is? ...okay, okay, yeah, well, um, this is Danny Meehan and, well, um, something about Kurt? Hmmm, well, okay, he's like huge and he may look like he's a big lumbering oaf--no offense, Kurt--but he's not at all. He's totally coordinated and he moves wicked fast for such a big guy. I mean, yeah, the first time I saw him I didn't think he could even bend over to tie his own shoe laces because he had so many layers of muscle--you know a total rock head--again, no offense, Kurt--but then I saw him on the field and then in the gym and then in that fight. He's really fast and not just for a big guy, either.

Kurt: Kurt here. I stuh-stuh-stutter so I don't tuh-tuh-talk much. Danny here talks enough fuh-fuh-for both of us. Actually, he tuh-tuh-talks enough for thirty of us. Danny is a really guh-guh-good gymnast. He's like a muh-muh-monkey in the gym. He's also about the suh-suh-size of one, too.

Danny: Shut up! I'm bigger than a monkey.

Kurt: Muh-muh-maybe a squirrel monkey.

Kari: *laughs* Kurt does spend a good portion of the book calling you a monkey, Danny. In a good way. So, getting right into the nit and grit of your stories, do you think you two would have become friends if it hadn't been for Scott and his crew?

Danny: Um, yeah, I think we would’ve become friends. I mean, I’d like to think we would’ve since Kurt wanted help learning how to do a back handspring and I showed him how. Don’t you Kurt? Kurt?

Kurt: …

Danny: Kurt you can’t just nod your head. They can’t see our faces. For the record, he nodded his head yes.

Kurt: Yes. We would’ve been friends. Despite being a muh-muh-monkey, Danny is puh-puh-pretty cool. [Kurt reaches out and gives Danny a ‘love tap’ punch in the arm. Danny falls off his stool.] Suh-suh-sorry Danny.

Danny: No problem. I didn’t need that arm anyway. Just ruined my chance for competing next year but, hey, don’t sweat it, big man. [Kurt makes like he’s going to give Danny a second 'love tap' and Danny takes a step backward.]

Kurt: What Danny duh-duh-does on the high bar is crazy. I’ll never buh-buh-be able to do suh-suh-something like that. Watching him swing around makes me smile. It ruh-ruh-reminds me of an old friend.

Kari: I'll leave the details of that friend up to the readers to find out, but at least you've found someone that sees you are more than a ticket to the state championship in Danny. So Kurt, what's your favorite thing about football? And given everything that's happened, do you wish you didn't join the team?

Kurt: I ain't gonna lie. I luh-luh-like the hitting. A lot! I like puh-putting my head down and bashing through a wall of bodies and muh-making them move my way; making them give ground.

Danny: I know he sounds like a total meathead but he's not.

Kurt: [ignoring Danny's comment] ... during all the bad stuff, I hated playing and wished I duh-didn't join. But then, when I saw how muh-much the rest of the team was behind me, how they had muh-my back, well ... I wuh-was glad I stuck it out.

Danny: Those guys love him. I saw it with my own eyes. Kurt could easily be captain next year, the way his teammates rallied around him.

Kurt: [to Danny] yuh-you really think so? Muh-maybe they'd vote me captain next year?

Danny: Yeah, for sure. They love you, big dude.

Kari: I might have to agree with Danny, Kurt. And one more question for you two. Though there wasn't much romance in your story, anything to report now? *smirks at Danny* Maybe with Tina?

Danny: Me and Tina?

Kurt: Wuh-wait! You and Tuh-Tina?!

Danny: Naw. Tina is really cute and—

Kurt: [Cutting Danny off] Yeah, she is …

Danny: [Doing a double take of Kurt, staring at him and then breaking out into a big smile] Wait! You?! You like Tina like that?! Get out of here! No way!

Kurt: I duh-didn’t say that. [Kurt’s face flushes].

Danny: Whoa! You didn’t have to. Man, I didn’t know that. You always make it seem like you’re just kind of putting up with her. I knew there was more going on there then you two just sharing music files all the time.

Kurt: We’re just friends.

Danny: Yeah, sure you are. [Danny rolls his eyes]. Hey I don’t blame you. Tina is really cute. Feisty but cute. But she’s more like a tough sister to me. Anyway, I like her friend, Indira. Wait. This isn’t going to be read by her, right? Okay, good. Yeah, I like Indira. Have you seen her eyelashes? They are crazy long! They are amazing. She’s so shy, though. I can’t ever get a chance to talk with her because she’s always with Tina. And Tina, no offense, doesn’t leave a lot of room to start up a conversation.

Kurt: Muh-maybe I’ll tell Tina to let Indira know. We can all go out fuh-for pizza.

Danny: Ooooohh. You think she’d go for it?

Kurt: [Shrugs his shoulders then takes a long look at Danny, like he’s trying to figure something out. His brow furrows as he scratches his chin, still observing Danny. Finally he nods his head slowly.] Yeah. She would.

Danny: [Lifts both arms straight up above his head like a referee signaling a score]. Yes!

Kari: I think that's a pretty good plan and might have to agree with you guys. But, we better be wrapping this up. Anything else you guys want to say to the readers?

Danny: I guess I just want to say that I hope no one ever has to go through what me and Kurt went through, but if you see something real bad happening, don’t keep it a secret. You have to tell someone. Tell your parents or a teacher or a coach. Someone has to know so they can help.

Kurt: Danny’s right. Wuh-we stayed quiet too long. If you read our story, learn from our mistakes. Wuh-whatever we did, do the exact opposite.

Danny: I don’t think we were that bad.

Kurt: Hmmmm…

Danny: Were we?!

Thank you, Kurt and Danny, for being here!

Now for your chance to win a signed copy of Leverage, just fill out THIS form!

Contest is US/Canada only, and ends June 19.

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