By Kirsty Topping
AUTHOR Ian Rankin is to offer one of his fans a spot in his next book.
The Edinburgh-based writer will turn one lucky reader into a character in his next book, expected to be a crime thriller.
The man behind the Rebus novels will write the winner of a charity auction into the story, and will even spend time with them to make sure he gets their personality just right.
Rankin has even offered himself as second prize in the Cancer Research UK auction.
The highest bidder will be able to join him for a pie and a pint at one of Rankin’s favourite bars.
Rankin said: “Of the last eight or nine books I have written, there are at least four people in them who are real and who paid money to charity to be in them.
“It’s a nice wee challenge for me to pick a real person, or even a company or restaurant or pub, and to find a place for them in the book.
“If possible, I talk to the person and make sure that they’re either accurately described or get to be the kind of person they want to be in fiction.
“For example, usually folk want to be baddies – they don’t want to be the sidekick of a cop, they want to be the villain or assassin.”
He added: “It’s a bit of fun and it is a relatively painless way for me to channel some money to a charity. It’s also a form of immortality and as long as the book exists, the person’s name is going to be in that book forever more.”
Rankin is due to begin writing the book in January and hopes to see it published by October 2012.
Event organiser Elaine Robison said: “We’re so grateful to Ian Rankin for giving us these prizes.
“To be featured as a character is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“We expect each of the items from Ian to raise the most amount of money, but as these items are priceless, there is no limit to the amount people can bid.”
The items will go under the hammer at the Tiaras and Tuxedos ball at the Balmoral Hotel on October 28.
And those who can’t make it along will also be able to bid for the items in a silent auction at all Cancer Research UK shops in Edinburgh from September 19.