CRIMINALLY GOOD: interview with top author Ian Rankin

This is one crime writer who barely needs any introduction … I’m delighted to be featuring none other than the awesome Ian ‘Rebus’ Rankin on CRIMINALLY GOOD today! I’m always fascinated by the books the most successful writers love … they’re nearly always classics. Something in that, I reckon. Enjoy this short n’ sweet coffee break read, everyone and have a brilliant week.

1) So, who are you and what have you written?

My name is Ian Rankin and I’m the author of over 30 published novels, many featuring Edinburgh cop John Rebus. Check out my website by clicking on my name above; LIKE my Facebook page and follow me as @Beathhigh.

2) Why do you write crime fiction?

I write crime fiction because I enjoy the sense of place, the strong narrative drive, the complex characterisations. It’s fun to read but can take on large moral questions.

3) What informs your crime writing?

See above. I wanted to show readers there was more to contemporary Scotland/Edinburgh than tartan and bagpipes. I wanted to write about the darker side of human experience and about social and political issues. The crime novel allows me to do that without becoming preachy.

4) What’s your usual writing routine?

My usual routine includes a lot of prevaricating. I’ll do anything to defer the moment when I have to do some actual writing. But when a novel is underway I try to write a little (or a lot) every single day, so I don’t start to forget the plot. My first drafts are written quickly and are far from perfect. I then do the research (this saves time, as by now I know what I really need to know). The second draft fixes mistakes and puts meat on the characters’ bones. A third draft is a polish. The whole process takes around six months.

5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written and why?

If Bleak House by Charles Dickens counts as a crime novel I’ll have that – it’s such masterful storytelling as well as powerful social satire. James Ellroy’s White Jazz is another favourite. Or anything by Ruth Rendell!
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