I am extremely happy to welcome none other than Peter Robinson to Deckarhuset!
I am so happy and excited that you have taken some time off from your busy schedule for this little e-mail interview. I will cut right to the chase and start with the questions right away…
First of all, where did you get the inspiration for Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks? Is there a lot of Peter Robinson in Alan?
I think Banks is a character who has evolved over many books, rather than someone who was born fully formed. When I started writing the series back in the mid eighties, I had absolutely no experience of the police, other than running away from them! I had read very few crime novels, and the ones that had most impact on me were the Maigret books, by Simenon, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahloo’s Martin Beck series, Nicholas’s Freeling’s Van der Valk, and Raymond Chandler. So I suppose if I was picking up influences from my reading, Banks is a combination of Maigret, Martin Beck, Van der Valk and Philip Marlowe! But I don’t really think that is the case. He was just my idea of an interesting character who happened to work as a detective. I wouldn’t say there is a lot of Peter Robinson in him, but we do share some social and political views, tastes in music and drink and so on. I think I eat much more healthily than he does, though, yet I don’t manage to stay quite as thin and fit. I couldn’t do his job and he couldn’t do mine.