IAN RANKIN: Celebrated Crime Author Appearing at Little City Books — MONDAY at 7:00 p.m.
What do Hoboken and Edinburgh have in common? Colorful language, shady characters and plenty to write about.
We can vouch for Hoboken, whereas acclaimed crime writer Ian Rankin—author of the Rebus novels and so much more—has spent decades cultivating page-turners set in his homeland of Scotland.
He and New Jersey-based crime author Harlan Coben will be at Little City Books (100 Bloomfield Street) on Monday, February 6 from 7-9 p.m.
Rankin was nice enough to take a few questions from hMAG leading up to his visit…
hMAG: As we’re sure you are aware, you have written a lot of books. What is it about writing crime novels that lends itself to such prolific output?
Ian Rankin: “When you have a serial character such as John Rebus I think readers relish a regular ‘fix’ and we authors are thrilled at the thought someone wants to read our work. So we keep writing.”
h: Where are the challenges in crime writing?
IR: keeping it fresh; finding new ideas and new angles; keeping au fait with the methods used by criminals and the forces of law and order…
h: You’ve written from multiple points of view—male, female, contemporary, historical, good guy, bad guy. What inspired you to be so experimental? What’s the toughest one to write?
IR: I found thrillers hard to write because they demand a level of technical detail when you’re writing about weaponry or gadgets. In a crime novel, a gun can just be a gun. I’m also not as comfortable writing screenplays as novels; not sure why. I know that I’m not a born collaborator.
h: We noted with some amusement that your “first novel” remains in your bottom drawer. What was the process like, deciding to break off such a significant project and redirect your energy into something else?
IR: It’s all part of the learning curve. That book wasn’t good enough, so I studied the feedback and looked at the book again and thought about how to write a better book next time.
h: How well do you know Hoboken? Are you familiar with Northern New Jersey’s colorful criminal history?
IR: I know very little about Hoboken but I’m looking forward to making its acquaintance!