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"I like newspaper stories that are inconclusive, incomplete, that give me room to imagine the rest. It's no good to me reading about something that's all neatly solved and wrapped up. That's why so many of my stories revolve around human psychology ... I don't profess to know the answers, but I like to explore the possibilities."

--Author Peter Robinson

Photo credit: Berserka Livaja

Peter Robinson was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, and came to Canada to earn his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor - tutored by none other than Joyce Carol Oates. He earned his Ph.D. in English from York University.

When the character of Inspector Banks was born, Robinson felt closer to his Northern English roots than he did to Toronto, his adopted home. Banks is now a part of the Yorkshire landscape, and although he did wander into Canada in The Hanging Valley, Banks is as firmly English as Coronation Street. Robinson regularly visits Yorkshire, keeping his knowledge of that area fresh, which in turn helps Banks continue to evolve and grow as a character.

Robinson's writing process has changed with his new level of success. "Touring and meeting readers seems to take up more and more time each year, which can be a problem when you're expected to turn in a book a year. Pretty soon that book has to be written in 9 months, 6 months, and the pressure can be nerve-wracking."

"Being a Canadian writer doesn't necessarily mean writing about Canada. Many successful Canadian writers write about where they come from. Canada somehow frees you to do that. I've always thought that if I'd stayed in England I would have been too intimidated by the class system, to persevere beyond those inevitable first rejection slips. Even now, there's a nagging feeling sometimes that it can't really be true, and that one day I'll wake up and find myself back working at the yeast factory or the frozen food plant in Leeds."

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Podcast: A Conversation with Peter Robinson