Rankin is the creator of Detective Inspector John Rebus, the middle-aged
Edinburgh cop whose unorthodox approach to work and life often gets
him into trouble in both his job and his relationships.
latest book, Resurrection Men, continues his look at the
darker side of Edinburgh.
Norfolk's Jim Cassidy interviewed the author when he came to meet
his fans at Ottakar's Bookshop in Norwich.
Cassidy: How do you feel about book signings - the more public
side of a writer's life?
about the only chance I get for feedback from fans so it’s very
useful. It’s useful if people tell me that I’ve got things wrong,
so I can get them right next time. It’s also useful when people
tell me what I’m doing right.
Are you as moody and hard to live with as Rebus? Try the Rebus
personality test and find out how you compare to the character.
here to begin
And I’m always
testing; whether this character or that character works; do people
want to see more of Cafferty, the evil gang lord, do they like him,
don’t they like him?
What do they
think about me giving Siobhan a much bigger role in the books -
Rebus’s sidekick as was, who’s now his equal?
So I do enjoy
it. I enjoy the travel but you never get to see anywhere; you do
places and never see anything. I mean, I don’t suppose I’m going
to see very much of Norwich, apart from bookshops and a hotel.
Cassidy: Can you remember the first book signings you did? Were
they a bit daunting?
Ian Rankin: (laughs) I remember some of the very early ones
where nobody turned up! There was an extraordinary one where I flew
from Seattle to San Diego, which is about 3,000 miles, to do a book
signing and not one person turned up, so I hung around for an hour,
went back to the airport, got back on a plane to Seattle.
it was daunting. I mean, writers don’t become writers because they’re
great public performers. And when you first stand up in front of
an audience and you’re going to read your stuff out, it’s like when
you show your work to somebody for the very first time, I think
the biggest, most daunting step in a writer’s life is when they
pluck up the courage to show the poem, the short story, whatever
it is, to a complete stranger.