Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Ian Rankin: I don't feel trapped by crime books
Speaking at the Istanbul literature festival, in association with Hay, Ian
Rankin says to be a great crime writer you need to think like a murderer.
Ian Rankin: TV adaptations of
Rebus were so bad he had to write his own crime series.Photo: Chris
Just as the pop star who dares venture into the realms of jazz or classical
music invites derision, so an unexpected detour from a well-loved author out of
their established area is often paved with cries of dismay and displeasure from
fans and critics. For a writer, being identified with a genre might be less a
niche than a prison.
But for Ian Rankin, fellow Edinburgh native and a friend of Rowling, being a
crime writer offers more freedoms than it does limitations.
“I don’t feel trapped by crime fiction,” he said, “but I keep coming back to
it.” Discussing crime novels on the second day of the Istanbul Tanpinar
Literature Festival with Finnish writer Leena Lehtonlainen, Rankin said that
when he retired his most famous character, Inspector Rebus in 2007, his wife
pointed out to him he could do anything he wanted,
“She said you can go and write historical fiction, children’s books –
anything you want. And I did: I wrote a libretto for an opera and a comic book
and a serial for the New York Times but when it came down to sit down and write
a novel I wanted to write about crime and I still wanted to write about
Edinburgh. So I had to invent another cop.” Full piece at The Telegraph