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Meet the WritersImage of Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin
Biography
"I grew up in a small coal-mining town in central Scotland. I was always interested in stories. Even though the town had no book stores (and my parents were not great readers), I made full use of the local library. It was mind-boggling to me that (at the age of 11 or 12) I could not gain access to a movie theatre to see such classics as The Godfather, A Clockwork Orange, or Straw Dogs, yet no one stopped me from borrowing these titles from my library. Books seemed to have about them a whiff of the illicit and the dangerous. That was all the encouragement I needed. I went to university in 1978, joined a punk band (on vocals), and continued to write a lot of song lyrics and poems. However, I found that my poems were actually 'telling stories', and so started to write short stories.

A few of these found publication and even won some awards. Then one story raged out of control and became my first novel. It was never published, but that didn't matter: I was now a novelist. I stumbled on Detective Inspector John Rebus by accident while attempting to write an update of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Rebus would be my Jekyll, his Hyde a character from his past. Along the way, I discovered that a cop is a good 'tool,' a way of looking at contemporary society, its rights and wrongs. Rebus, I decided, would stick around. Meantime, I finished unviersity, moved to London for four years (where I worked first as a college secretary, later as a hi-fi/audio journalist), then rural France for six years. Both my sons were born in France. By the time the oldest had reached school age, we'd decided to move back to Scotland. I now live and work in Edinburgh, and the Rebus novels have gone from strength to strength in terms of sales and recognition."

Author biography courtesy of Little, Brown & Company

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Good to Know
Before making it as an author Rankin held a wide variety of gigs, including working in a chicken factory, as a swineherd, a grape-picker, and a tax collector. He even performed as the frontman of the short-lived punk band, The Dancing Pigs.

He has broken Irvine Welsh and Iain Banks's records, with six titles in the Scottish top 10 bestseller list simultaneously.

His favorite/inspirational books include pretty much anything by James Ellroy, Ruth Rendell, and Raymond Chandler -- plus classics of Scottish Literature such as Robert Louis Strevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Other "desert island" titles include Martin Amis's Money, Anthony Burgess's Earthly Powers, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time and Ian McEwan's First Love, Last Rites.

His favorite web site is http://www.oxfordbar.com -- the official web site of Rebus's favourite Edinburgh tavern!



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About the Writer
*Ian Rankin Home
* Biography
* Good to Know
In Our Other Stores
* Signed, First Editions by Ian Rankin
Chronology
*Knots and Crosses, 1987
*Hide and Seek, 1991
*Tooth and Nail, 1992
*A Good Hanging, 1992
*Strip Jack, 1992
*Watchman, 1992
*The Black Book, 1993
*Mortal Causes, 1994
*Let It Bleed, 1996
*Black and Blue, 1997
*Death Is Not the End, 1998
*The Hanging Garden, 1998
*Dead Souls, 1999
*Set in Darkness, 2000
*The Falls: An Inspector Rebus Novel, 2001
*Beggar's Banquet, 2002
*Resurrection Men, 2002
*A Question of Blood, 2004
*Fleshmarket Alley, 2005
*The Naming of the Dead, 2007
Photo by Ross Gillespie Tricia Malley