Monday, February 21, 2011

Mitch Malone Mondays: Geraldine Evans

Mitch Malone here. W.S. Gager is working very hard to get my next exclusive to her publisher so again I am called in to help out. Today Geraldine Evans is visiting from across the pond on the book tour for her latest in the Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series.

Geraldine I understand you have a new book out in Britain that will only come to the U.S. in a couple of months. How come we can't have it sooner?

You could if it was down to me – I hate waiting for things, too .Writers know all about waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more. I’ll have a word with my publishers, but I wouldn’t hold your breath as they’ll likely ignore me.

That sounds like my editor too. You have quite a few books out in the series. What is the series about?

When I first thought of the series, I knew I wanted to write something amusing as I often felt the desire for a read other than mystery novels that were all about the crime and that failed to show the humanity of the lead character – unless it was about his drink and/or marriage problems. Lapsed Catholic, London-Irish Detective Inspector Joseph Aloysius Rafferty can’t cure or divorce his problems as it’s his own family that is the cause of them. In short, his family, from Ma Rafferty downwards, is not as law-abiding as Rafferty would like. His working-class family are way too keen on suspect ‘bargains’ and seem to get into this scrape or that. Even though they are of the opinion that if Rafferty must be a policeman he might have the decency to be a bent one – they expect him to sort out their little difficulties with the law.

To make Rafferty’s life even more difficult, I’ve provided him with a partner, in Welsh Methodist DS Dafyd Llewellyn, who has the soul of a Puritan and a moral rectitude that Is way above that of Rafferty or his family. He believes that no one should be above the law: not even the mothers of Detective Inspectors. Between the lot of them, I’m able to organize a humorous sub-plot as well as what I hope is some reasonably witty dialogue in the main plot. And then I add murder to the brew…

What's the new book about? Anything that would make a good story for the Grand River Journal? I have to get something out of doing these interviews to bail out W.S. Gager.

You could use Deadly Reunion, my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn mystery, as a dire warning of what might happen to you if you attend a school reunion. All the festering emotions from the attendees’ schooldays leap to the surface and soon one of their number is dead, poisoned most horribly.

Rafferty’s family have their own reunion since Ma Rafferty’s been on the internet and found more family than even she knew they had. This number of attendees at this family get-together grows, like Topsy, and Ma liberates Rafferty’s spare bedrooms for her guests.

Rafferty is a bit miffed at having four unwanted lodgers thrust upon him, especially because one of them is a tub-thumper from America’s Bible Belt. But then he is reconciled to his lodgers because he wouldn’t have solved the case if it wasn’t for tub-thumper Cyrus Rafferty.

Wow. My next exclusive started when I crashed my reunion. They didn’t even send me an invite. But you don’t want to hear about A Case of Hometown Blues. Your main characters are detectives in the police force. I'm not familiar with British police. Do they work well with the media? At least the newspaper media? I'm not too fond of TV media beings they can get something on the air in the blink of an eye.

DI Joe Rafferty’s not too keen on the press. He’s too honest and dislikes the half-truths and evasions that are often necessary to keep the media’s nose out of things. He hates press conferences at which his superior, Superintendent Bradley, shines. Gruff Yorkshireman, Bradley seems to undergo a change of personality for the press –it’s a personality that Rafferty seldom sees. Sergeant Llewellyn, unlike Rafferty, always thinks before he opens his mouth, which is always a good thing when one talks to the press!

One of your characters is funny and the other is the straight man. In my books I perform both parts. How does writing them both work? Is it difficult?

I don’t find it difficult, but then I’ve lived with them both so long. And then, my background is Irish and I’ve a strongly humorous bent, but I also have the serious side which has enabled me to find the determination to finish eighteen (and more, unpublished) novels. I really like both my main characters, which always helps. I seem to fall into their way of thinking easily. Having said that, I spend all my time in Joe Rafferty’s head and we only learn about Welshman, Dafyd Llewellyn’s personality through his dialogue and actions.

What's up next for you? Anything I can scoop the media with across the pond? I think I'm beginning to like the British vernacular.

I’m working on Kith and Kill, my next Rafferty novel and I’ve just finished the first draft. I’m also seriously considering writing a stand-alone novel. I’m still only at the thinking about doing it stage and haven’t thought much about what I would actually write. But once I’ve put this Blog Tour to bed, I’ll get my brain into gear and give it some serious thought.

I understand you provide quite a bit of help to new authors on your website. I've been doing a little teaching myself in my new book out this June. I found it very satisfying when I whipped those lazy reporters into shape. Why do you do it?

I’m just providing some of the ‘voice of experience’ stuff that I’d have liked when I started. Writing’s a hard enough profession, with a lot of loneliness and despair thrown into the mix, so I think it behoves the published writer to provide a bit of support, both moral and practical. I know what rejection’s like – I suffered through six years and six books of it when editors said things like: ‘You’re both good and original. However, what’s good isn’t original and what’s original isn’t good’!

Thanks Geraldine for stopping by for an interview. I’ll try and wait patiently for the U.S. release, but I’m not happy out it. To see more about Geraldine and her books, check out her website:


  1. Thanks for the interview, Mitch. Perhaps I can reciprocate if you ever stop by my way. All the best.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to Geraldine Evans, Mitch. As a result of your interview, I decided to visit her website. If her novels are as amusing and insightful as her "Advice for Writers", I've just become a fan.

  3. Evelyn,

    I like you already! I hope you go on to read my books: apart from hardbacks and paperbacks, I've recently started to publish my out-of-prints as ebooks and have the first two in my Rafferty series up on kindle, etc. I'm working on the next one in the series. I'm pleased you found my Advice for Writers helpful - I remember what it was like to be just starting out, so feel I must do my bit.

  4. Hi Geraldine, It's nice to meet you. I've just ordered "Dead Before Morning" from Amazon, and I'm looking forward to reading it. I enjoy reading British mystery authors, especially women...Agatha Christie, Dorothy L.Sayers, Caroline Graham, and I'm now adding you to my list. I also like to read books in a series, so I'm glad you've written enough to keep me reading for quite a while.

  5. Wow! Thank you, Evelyn. And you've certainly got a few of my books to get on with. I'm writing number fifteen in the series now (Kith and Kill). I'm also preparing Death Line, my third in the series for epubbing. You might like also to try Ruth Dudley Edwards, another British writer, who I like a lot. She's very witty and a tad anarchic!

  6. Geraldine, I once belonged to the Agatha Christie Society, and I've read all 88 of her novels, not to mention her short stories and her plays, so reading your fifteen plus novels doesn't seem like a daunting task to me.

  7. Geraldine it was a pleasure to have you. I know Mitch enjoyed the interview. Glad you could stop by Evelyn. I have spent many hours with Agatha in the guise of Hercule Poirot. If she were alive today maybe he would have a blog? You never know.

  8. Evelyn, I'm glad to know that. It's always good to 'meet' readers who have the stamina for the long haul!

    Wendy, I enjoyed it, too. It's good to do something out of the usual run.