Hugely proud to announce that the October issue of Words with Jam magazine is out now, featuring my interview with one of my favourite crime writers, Ian Rankin. I’ve posted a snippet below, but for the full version, subscribe to WWJ today. It’s FREE and FAB … so what are you waiting for!
To read the full interview, subscribe click here … Words with Jam
Ian Rankin in conversation with Gillian Hamer
This November sees the release of the nineteenth novel featuring the curmudgeonly Scottish detective, Detective Inspector John Rebus.
I’ve recently read and enjoyed ‘Standing in Another Man’s Grave’ and for me there’s a sense of security whenever I meet John Rebus again. When you think of Rebus, how do you see him? He’s been part of your life for over a quarter of a century, does a character you’ve known so long get easier or harder to write?
When I invented Rebus, I never thought of him having a life beyond that first book. But he got under my skin, and I began to sense that a cop would allow me to write the books I wanted to write – books about Edinburgh and about contemporary society. So I brought him back for a second book and a third… and a seventeenth and an eighteenth. His longevity is testament to his complexity and tenacity. Each time I write about him, I learn a bit more about what makes him tick.
You’ve written several books since Rebus retired. What made you go back to him again after a break?
Although Rebus retired from the police, I was aware of a real-life Cold Case unit in Edinburgh and I was sure that’s where he would be working – as a civilian, alongside other retired cops. So he lived on in my imagination even after I’d ceased to write about him. Then one day I got the idea for a story that involved an old unsolved crime. It made sense that I give it to Rebus. The first few pages were nerve-wracking though, as I couldn’t be sure his voice would still be there. I needn’t have worried. He seemed thrilled to be back.
With the publication of Rebus’s 19th novel, ‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ later this year, how do you keep the storyline consistently up to date and fresh. Does it get easier or harder with longevity?
What keeps any series fresh is… well… complicated. If I ever felt jaded writing about my characters, I think it would show in the writing. So far that hasn’t happened. Edinburgh remains an interesting place for me to explore, and of course intriguing crimes appear in the media all the time, providing me with inspiration. The likes of Rebus, Siobhan and Fox are altered by the cases they work on, so they evolve from book to book. They are not quite the same in any two books. Disappointingly (for me) books don’t get easier to write – they get harder. When I was young, I seemed to be full of plots, storylines, ideas. Now I’m lucky if I get one or two a year. Maybe the well of stories isn’t bottomless after all.
Filed under Uncategorized