The Crime Interview: Ian Rankin

by Len Wanner

Len Wanner finds new routes into the mind of one of the giants of crime fiction in this 13,000-word interview with the creator of Inspector Rebus.

Ian Rankin on:

  • His fictional characters – “Sometimes they do weird things I’m not expecting them to do – like die.”On the first Rebus novel – “It’s over-written. It’s a bit up itself. It’s obviously written by a literature student: ‘The manumission of dreams’ – no idea what that means.”
  • On teaching creative writing – “If somebody’s got talent, you can spot it and help them move it along, but you can’t make somebody talented.”
  • On Rebus – “He became much bigger than I ever intended him to be to the extent that he seems more real to people than I am.”
  • On ‘tartan noir’ - “‘Tartan Noir’ is a term I’m confident I invented, but I gave it to James Ellroy.”

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