The Scottish novelist Ian Rankin considered his fellow Scot William McIlvanney to be a mentor. When Rankin was just starting out on his writing career, he met McIlvanney, and over the course of the rest of McIlvanney's life, they stayed in touch. After McIlvanney died, his widow was going through her husband's papers, and she found the notes he had been making as he worked on two more books featuring his Glasgow homicide cop Laidlaw.
After his notes were found, McIlvanney's publisher contacted Rankin to inquire if he would be willing to examine those materials to see if there was enough there to possibly write any more Laidlaw novels. Rankin decided that there was just enough material to do so. In this interview, Ian Rankin describes the challenges he faced in taking on this posthumous collaboration with an author he had so greatly admired. The book is a prequel, and Rankin had to try to write it in the voice of William McIlvanney.
Listen to the full interview on WYSO's Book Nook.