Calvin Newsome, a character in “Agents of Change,” by Guy Harrison

Who are you?

My name is Calvin Newsome III and I’m 28 years old. I grew up on the mean streets of Philadelphia but made it out of the ‘hood to go to an Ivy League school (the University of Pennsylvania) and eventually became director of business analytics at Maxwell, Inc. Despite all the money and the corner office, I came to realize that I had a strong desire to help people. At the beginning of the story, I dabble in professional matchmaking. It’s okay. I mostly don’t like it because I still have to use my business sense.

What is your story about?

Agents of Change is the story of how I quit my cushy but boring six-figure salary job to live a life of significance. At the beginning of the story, I’m recruited by a secret organization called the Agency of Influence, which considers itself to be the world’s purveyor of Good Karma. In becoming an Agent of Influence (or A of I, for short) I acquire magic powers (namely telekinesis and shapeshifting) as I’m tasked with providing Good Karma to downtrodden individuals.

Sounds cute and warm and fuzzy, right? Well, let’s just say that my dream job becomes a nightmare.

After one of my new co-workers (I’m not going to name any names) makes a huge–no, colossal–mistake, I suddenly become a murder suspect and a fugitive in my own city! Meanwhile, the Agency of Influence’s sister organization, the Agency of Justice, has its own ideas about how to best serve this planet. The A of J is not warm and fuzzy…they kill people.

Eventually, I have to save mankind from the A of J while eluding the cops. Somebody shoot me.

How do your friends see you?

Depends on who you ask. I think most of my friends see me as a generous, sensitive kind of guy. They might even tell you–and I know I’ll regret even bringing this up–that I’m a bit of a white guy trapped in a black guy’s body.

If you were to ask my best friend, Veronica “Ronni” Lee, however, I’m not sure what she’d tell you. We’ve known each other for a long time. Ronni’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Our friendship is a bit awkward these days, though, because she wants more out of our relationship, er, friendship…whatever you want to call it.

I kind of take a laissez-faire approach to it all; as her friend I want to hear how she feels. Of course, it’s not until I finally get decisive about it for a change that all of the nonsense in the story kind of gets in the way.

How do your enemies see you?

My enemies view me as collateral damage. In fact, they actually pity me. What kind of messed up stuff is that?

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Well, it’s actually my story, told from my point of view. So I guess the answer would be yes. Maybe even a little I have a bit of a potty mouth. I hope my mom doesn’t read the book.

Do you have a goal?

Yes. My goal is to eventually make a difference in this world. I want to do something the entire world can profit from, and not necessarily in a financial way. I want to do something where people look at it and know that Calvin Newsome’s fingerprints are all over it.

What is your biggest disappointment?

Oh, that one’s easy. By far, the most disappointing, heartbreaking moment of my life was getting stood up at the altar. I was not the best, most attentive fiancé. That turn of events taught me a lot about myself.

What did you learn about yourself?

Well…I can be a bit selfish, especially in my closest relationships. I have a tendency to take without giving. I’m working on it, though. It’s a process.

Did you get along with your parents?

Well, I never really knew my dad. He left my mom and I when I was just a baby. My mom and I have a love/hate relationship. I don’t know much about what she’s up to these days, other than the fact that she’s alive. She’s a difficult woman to please. Can you imagine if I told her I quit my job at Maxwell? She’ll make it a federal case.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like sports. Most people look at me and think I play basketball or football. If I had my druthers, I would have actually played either baseball or hockey professionally.

I also coordinate our community service program at Maxwell. I get together a group of co-workers and we go in the community to clean parks or volunteer at the SPCA.

When I’m not working or doing any of those things, I like to play video games, too. I’m still a kid at heart in some respects.

What is your favorite food?

You know, I hadn’t tried it until I met Agent Elena Jimenez (she’s the lady who recruited me for the A of I) but I love arroz con pollo. It’s a Spanish dish, consisting of yellow rice and chicken. It’s especially popular in Elena’s native Little Havana community in Miami.

How do you envision your future?

I’d better bring my running shoes, that’s for sure. In fact, I think I see some unsavory-looking characters outside. I better get going!

Where can we learn more about you?

From Guy Harrison’s website:

Agents of Change, a suspense/thriller written by Guy Harrison, is due for a Feb. 13 release.