Author interview with Michael Wreford

Author interview with Michael Wreford

Author bio:
A true double agent, Michael Wreford is two authors writing as one. The pair hold master's degrees in Chinese and International Relations, and for ten years have worked for leading multinational corporations, including in the investment banking, healthcare, and oil and gas sectors. They have lived in Beijing, The Hague, Hong Kong, and New York, and currently split their time between the United Kingdom and Switzerland.



BP: First off, could you give us a short introduction as to who Michael Wreford is? What are your hobbies, likes and dislikes?
MW: Michael Wreford is a double agent – two people with a love of espionage fiction, writing as one. We have a shared interest in Asia, and Hong Kong and China in particular, so that’s a theme you’ll see flowing through our work.

BP: KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE is your debut, when did you decide that you two wanted to team up to become an author?
MW: With some exceptions (John Le Carré’s The Honourable Schoolboy, Charles Cummings’ Typhoon), Asia espionage fiction can be as disappointing as soggy dim sum. Some “big” spy authors have adopted the Asia locale but missed its nuances; others won’t even try. KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE was written to help fill that gap.

BP: Writing a debut can be a daunting task, how did you go about this?
MW: A good author brings three ingredients to a novel: unique life experiences, an active imagination and loads of determination. Anyone with those attributes (and perhaps a little joss, or luck) should be able to string their masterpiece together.

BP: Writing a book with a duo can cause some tension, did you encounter any while writing KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE?
MW: A trusted writing partner can not only boost productivity, but lead your story and characters on adventures you never imagined possible. Naturally there’s some “give and take”… but if everything in life went as planned the world might be very boring indeed!

BP: What gave you the idea/inspiration behind the story of KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE?
MW: We wanted a novel that plugged into major themes of the 21st century - globalisation, China’s rise, cybercrime, terrorism and surveillance, to name a few - but with a touch of wry humour. Into that we have injected Asia’ community of rival tycoons, foreign correspondents, corrupt officials, boozy expats, intelligence agencies, and more – all sweating it out in the tropics, with mixed results.

BP: If you would have to sell KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE with a single sentence how would it go?
MW: Thrust into an international web of intrigue after stealing a powerful cyber weapon, MI6 contact agent George Quant has to decide whether to side with money or honour, while saving the relationship with the woman he thinks he love.

BP: Did you encounter any specific problems when you were writing the book?
MW: As we’ve seen with the recent Hong Kong protests, things move quickly in Asia. Although our book is set in 2001, we needed to keep on top of the latest news; we wanted to ensure that the latest information, attitudes and undercurrents were accurately portrayed.

BP: What has been the hardest part in writing KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE?
MW: In terms of sheer complexity, writing KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE was perhaps not unlike conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. The plot, with its sub plots and sub-sub plots playing out across the world, required some effort to stitch together. For the reader, though, it was an investment worth making.

BP:  Which chapter or scene did you enjoy writing the most?
MW: I have a soft spot for any scene with “Ho”. Ho is a Hong Kong taipan, or supreme boss, with connections that span territory’s business, triad, and intelligence communities. No one knows which way he looks – to China or the West – a conundrum which forms a large part of the book’s suspense.

BP: If you could pull KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE from the bookstores and make one final adjustment would you do so? If yes, which part and why?
MW: If the producers of Homeland or the Honourable Woman came knocking, then sure, anything’s possible! Otherwise, I’m delighted with the way it looks.

BP: This was your first book, are there plans for a series?
MW: I’m a quarter of the way through (an as yet unnamed) sequel, which sees George Quant return with a bang! Set in 2010, the action unfolds in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan, Edinburgh and beyond, before culminating at the Shanghai World EXPO. I wish I could say more.

BP: Do you have any other projects on the go?
MW: Marketing is a big deal.  And it’s here that self-published authors suffer; we simply don’t have the resources to compete with the big players. Thankfully, some published authors have been helpful, for example providing good blurb. Incidentally, the work of sites like The Book Plank, are indispensible to new authors.

BP: What’s your favourite book?
MW: Noble House, by James Clavell. The 1988 television miniseries, starring Pierce Brosnan, isn’t bad either.

BP: And just lastly can you give a short introduction to KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE for those who are not familiar with it?
MW: Journalist and SIS (MI6) contract agent George Quant arrives on the run in Beijing. Estranged from Karen, his Moscow-based handler, George is thrust into Asia's clandestine underworld of gentleman spies, nefarious business people, and murderous Party members. With his past catching up with him, George discovers that not everyone in China can be trusted.

KILL WITH A BORROWED KNIFE has been described as “A thriller in the truest sense” by Crime Fiction Lover.

BP: Thank you very much for your time and good luck with completing the sequel!

For further information on Michael Wreford’s writing visit the following links:

Amazon: author page
author page
Independent Author Network:


Popular Posts