An interview (and giveaway) with E.G. Rodford, author of The Bursar’s Wife

Please welcome E.G. Rodford to the blog! E.G.’s new book, The Bursar’s Wife, just came out this month!

Also, courtesy of Titan Books, we have a copy to give away to one US winner,so be sure to enter to win below the post!
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Will you tell us about The Bursar’s Wife and what inspired you to write it?

The Bursar’s Wife features a private investigator based in Cambridge (that’s Cambridge in the UK!) who takes on what seems like a straightforward case. As ever things get complicated and personal. I wrote The Bursar’s Wife as a bit of fun, really, and as an homage to Chandler and Hammett. It is my attempt to bring them up to date without being either too derivative or a straight parody.

What makes George such a compelling character? Will you tell us more about him?

Essentially George, like the genre, harks back to a bygone era. He lives in his parents house which is a throwback to the fifties, as befits the book, and isn’t a great fan of technology for which he has to rely on his part-time assistant. He shares offices with new age practitioners and alternative therapists so it’s safe to say he feels out of place.

What kind of research did you do for the book?

Probably quite a lot! In terms of actually speaking to other people I have relatives who were and are in the Police so they helped with some of the procedural stuff, although TBW is by no means a police procedural. I also spoke with a sex therapist because there’s a bit of that going on in the book!

What supporting characters did you particularly enjoy writing about?

I always like writing antagonists because they’re just more fun to write. So in the case of this book it was the American Quintin Boyd. U.S. films and books always have Brits as bad guys so I thought it would make a nice change to reverse that!

What is your writing process like?

I treat it like any job. When I’m writing to deadline (which I am at the moment) I have a daily word quota that I try to complete. I don’t always make it but as long as I’m ahead of the game at the end of week I’m happy. I like to get a first draft down as soon as possible and then spend time rewriting.

Why suspense? What do you enjoy most about reading, and writing, in the genre?

I used to read a lot of crime (although not so much now) and it’s appeal, apart from the straight whodunnit aspect, is, I think, about the satisfaction of meting out a rough sort of justice that often seems lacking in real life. Also, the best crime stories are those that transcend genre and also offer some social commentary.

What do you like to see in a good story? Is there anything that will make you put a book down, unfinished?

I like to see complex, flawed characters, an interesting character-driven story and excellent writing. I’ll put down bad writing or something that feels false.

What are you currently reading?

I’m actually re-reading Chandler’s The Long Goodbye just to get myself into the right mind-set for the second Kocharyan book.

What’s next for you? Is there anything else you’d like to share?

George Kocharyan is just wrapping up his next case, The Runaway Maid, which features a famous Cambridge surgeon who hires George to find his live-in domestic. I hope to have that documented and ready for readers in time for next year!

E.G. Rodford is the crime-writing pseudonym of an award-winning author living in Cambridge, England. Rodford writes about the seedier side of the city where PI George Kocharyan is usually to be found.


About The Bursar’s Wife:
Meet George Kocharyan, Cambridge Confidential Services’ one and only private investigator. Amidst the usual jobs following unfaithful spouses, he is approached by the glamorous Sylvia Booker. The wife of the bursar of Morley College, Booker is worried that her daughter Lucy has fallen in with the wrong crowd.

Aided by his assistant Sandra and her teenage son, George soon realises that Lucy is sneaking off to the apartment of an older man, but perhaps not for the reasons one might suspect.Then an unfaithful wife he had been following is found dead. As his investigation continues— enlivened by a mild stabbing and the unwanted intervention and attention of Detective Inspector Vicky Stubbing—George begins to wonder if all the threads are connected…

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