Ian Rankin, son of Cardenden, Fife delivered an entertaining session last night to a packed house in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy as part of RebusFest, celebrating 30 years of Detective Inspector John Rebus crime novels.
Ian said all crime writers, maybe all fiction writers want to be rock stars and the kirk itself had a hint of rock concert about it, as Fife gathered to hear from the author and about his famous imaginary character.
Rebus, like Ian has a love of music, and Ian said Rebus’ taste in music largely reflected his own, including The Rolling Stones and van Morrison, who Ian befriended after they became fans of his books.
He told us about his life in Cardenden, early love of writing and unpublished stories including one about a man that thought he was US president but was really living in a lunatic asylum, or maybe it was the other way around.
He read from his old diaries and related his thoughts on the reviews of his first Rebus book, Knots and Crosses on which the critics gave him a right kicking, as Rebus might have said.
For those of us early on in our writing journeys his lessons on self-belief, getting back up again and pressing on- very Rebus-like – and expressions of dissatisfaction with his first effort, including too deep back story and some minor flaws in story telling was interesting, relatable and inspirational.
In the first draft of Knots and Crosses, he had Rebus getting murdered. Now that just wouldnae do. JD