As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I started re-reading Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels back in late-December. I’m only on Book Five (titled The Black Book) out of twenty-three, so I’ll be well-supplied for a while. Or will I? Since I don’t like to read books from similar genres while I’m writing or editing in that genre, I might have to switch authors fairly soon. I’ll be able to keep reading Rankin for another couple of months or so because If a Butterfly (my current project) isn’t remotely similar to detective/crime fiction. While I’m writing or editing, I usually only read for ten to fifteen minutes a day (just before I go to sleep), so I should be able to work my way through a few more of Rankin’s novels before I replace him with someone else. Since I’m writing or editing almost every day, I don’t read a great deal over time. Give me the benefit of the doubt, and let’s say I’m taking my time to savor the words.
Ian Rankin is one of the finer current writers in the English language, and I do learn a lot from reading him. While the first few books in the Rebus series were very good, it seems obvious to me (now that I’ve re-read them a few times) that Rankin was still exploring the characters and learning who they were. Characters who were in earlier books disappear for a while, then reappear in later books when he apparently figures out how they best fit in Rebus’ Scottish universe. I also find it interesting to watch the way the writer manipulates storylines to accommodate the changes in the characters (and the changes occurring in Scotland at the time).
So, who do I read next, after I finish and publish the If a Butterfly series? It will depend on which book I decide to work on next. I basically have five choices (four of them more immediately likely than the fifth), and I don’t have a clue which one is next in line. I’ll talk more about all of them in the next post.
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