Lin Anderson chaired an Ian Rankin event at
the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Thursday 19th August, 2010.
The event review below, by Susan Mansfield is from
The Scotsman of 20th
|IAN RANKIN likes to refer to the leafy
streets of Edinburgh's Merchiston as the Writers' Block, home as it is
to himself, J K Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith and others.
Last night at the Book Festival, he was
interviewed by another of his neighbours, the crime writer Lin
Anderson. It was, she quipped, the only way she could get a ticket for
the sell-out event.
It is now nearly three years since
Rankin "retired" his iconic detective, Rebus, from active service. In
that time, he has written two other novels (Doors Open has become his
bestselling book so far in the UK and has been optioned for TV by
Stephen Fry), written a graphic novel for DC Comics and co-written a
screenplay for Confessions of a Justified Sinner, currently being read
by a Hollywood director.
However, when he was asked to write a
new Rebus short story for a charity (it was published in this
newspaper in March), he found that his old sparring partner wasn't far
away. In fact, he's still at St Leonard's Police Station working old
murders for the Scottish Criminal Review Unit. "The fact that both he
and Siobhan are still hanging around made it feel like there is
unfinished business," Rankin said.
Rebus is working the same building as
Malcolm Fox, the protagonist of Rankin's latest novel The Complaints.
He's keeping his head down, the author suggested, in case Fox and his
team in the Police Complaints Unit ever scrutinise him too closely.
Rankin believes there has never been a
better time to be a crime writer. In Stieg Larsson, author of
international bestseller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, crime
fiction has "found its JK Rowling", which could create a knock-on
effect across the genre. And as crime writing is increasingly taken
seriously by writers and booksellers, perhaps literary prizes will
From the Merchiston Writers' Block, to
the wider subject of writers' block,