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Home » Character Interviews » Character Interview: Ed Earl Burch from Jim Nesbitt’s hard-boiled Texas thriller, The Right Wrong Number

Character Interview: Ed Earl Burch from Jim Nesbitt’s hard-boiled Texas thriller, The Right Wrong Number



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We’re thrilled to have here today Ed Earl Burch from Jim Nesbitt’s new hard-boiled Texas thriller, The Right Wrong Number.  Burch is a 44-year-old private detective living in Dallas, Texas.

It is a pleasure to have Ed Earl with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Ed Earl.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think that Nesbitt guy did a fairly good job telling my story. He’s an ex-journalist and has a pretty keen eye for details and a sharp ear for dialogue. I just wish he hadn’t made me look like such an idiot with women and hadn’t repeatedly told folks I’m bald and fat. I’m an ex-jock gone to seed, a big guy who used to play football and have the bad knees to prove it. I’d much prefer to be seen as svelte and streamlined.

EdEarl56-300dpi-3125x4167Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

I spent a lot of time with Nesbitt and he flat wore me out with questions about this case. He’s a nosy bastard and you can’t shut him up. But I have to give the devil his due—he caught me square. I’m no Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, although I do crack wise like those sharp guys. And I’m not supercool like Frank Bullitt. I’m more like Columbo—without the caricature.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I don’t quit. I get on the trail of a case and I stay there and don’t veer off into the brush. I’m relentless and don’t mind the long hours and tedious details of detective work. I’m no Sherlock Holmes with dazzling leaps of deduction and intuition. Nobody is. Building a case is slow, demanding work—people lie to you all the time and the truth is hard to come by. As a buddy of mine once said: there are a helluva lot of facts, but very little truth.

Worse trait?

I’m fatally attracted to women who are ready, willing and able to drive a stake through my heart.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Tommy Lee Jones and Jeff Bridges immediately come to mind, but those boys are getting a little long in the tooth. Tom Sizemore would be good, if clean and sober. I think a great, dark-horse candidate would be Nick Searcy, the guy who played Art, Raylan Givens’ boss in Justified.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it love, but it surely was lust. I banged boots with an old flame, a rangy strawberry blonde with a violent temper and a lethal knack for larceny and betrayal named Savannah Devlin Crowe.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

When I came out of a pharmaceutical fog in a hospital with a Houston homicide detective yammering in my ear about people I didn’t remember killing.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

My best friend, Krukovitch, a cranky and brilliant columnist and fellow traveler at my favorite bar, Louie’s. You’ll have to buy the book to figure out why.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Hollow, empty, guilty but glad I didn’t get a stake driven through my heart.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

I’d like that sumbitch to give me a little more hair on top and use the terms svelte and streamlined to describe me. Give me a hat like Raylan Givens, maybe. And get me out of paying my bar tab.

Thank you for this interview, (name of character).  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

You bet. Count on it. Can’t get rid of that Nesbitt guy. He’s like a bad habit. I expect he’ll be along shortly with another laundry list of questions.



For more than 30 years, Jim Nesbitt roved the American Outback as a correspondent for newspapers and wire services in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. He chased hurricanes, earthquakes, plane wrecks, presidential candidates, wildfires, rodeo cowboys, ranchers, miners, loggers, farmers, migrant field hands, doctors, neo-Nazis and nuns with an eye for the telling detail and an ear for the voice of the people who give life to a story. He is a lapsed horseman, pilot, hunter and saloon sport with a keen appreciation for old guns, vintage cars and trucks, good cigars, aged whiskey and a well-told story. He now lives in Athens, Alabama and writes hard-boiled detective thrillers set in Texas.

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