Ian Rankin

Not much time to write this week… and today was busy, capped off with seeing Ian Rankin speak at an event this evening.  Always nice to chat with Ian! Even he enjoyed the story about how we first met… (Second part of the Rankin trilogy that appears in my book)


I wanted to know.  Standing on the edge of the cliff, overlooking all of Edinburgh, I wanted the answer.  Was this Salisbury Crags?  Too bad the weather was blowing in bands of rain with a mad wind.  It all seemed deserted.  No other hiker to answer the question.

But on the far edge of the cliff there seemed to be some equipment and a few people.  My eyes are bad and I couldn’t make out what they were doing but they must know if this was Salisbury.

As I headed towards them I realized it was a small film crew.  Very small.  Camera, crane, piles of gear and only three people.  I ambled up and tried to play the polite Canadian tourist.

“I’m from Vancouver, Canada, and a huge Ian Rankin fan.  Ian wrote in one of his books about a man being thrown off the Salisbury Crags and I’m wondering if you could tell me if these are the Crags.”

Everyone here knows of Ian Rankin, the Scottish writer made famous by his series about the Edinburgh detective, John Rebus.  I prayed these people would take pity on a fan who only wants to stalk the book’s locations.

They looked at me and laughed.

“Ask him yourself… we’re a BBC film crew doing a documentary on Ian and he’s heading up the hill any minute.”


That is how I ended up spending the afternoon with my favourite writer.  Total fluke.  Or fate.  I don’t care.  He is my writing God.  And I got to hang out with him.  From the cliff he pointed out his neighbourhood.  The street he shared with JK Rowling.  “Writers Block” he told me.  Ian wanted to come back to the Vancouver Writers Festival and asked me to plant the seed.  He was chatty, and kind and very very normal.  And he put up with a fan intruding on his film shoot with grace and humour.  A gentleman.

It was so much more than Salisbury Crags.



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