Ian Rankin grew up in Cardenden in Fife, where he was locally educated before going on to study at Edinburgh University. Ian was always a prolific writer, having won prize for poetry before reaching university and more awards at university.
He never gave up on his writing, but did undertake a varied range of jobs while at university, including; chicken factory worker, alcohol researcher (lucky man), grape picker and tax collector.
It was while Rankin was supposed to be reading for his PhD in English Literature that he started writing novels, the third of which would become the first in his Rebus series, Knots and Crosses.
After running out of funding for his post-graduate study, Ian found himself in London and married to Miranda Harvey, whom he had met at university. In London he started working at the National Folktale Centre before moving on to the ‘HI-FI Review’ as firstly, assistant editor and then editor.
In 1988 Ian Rankin became a Hawthornden Fellow and was a guest of Hawthornden Castle Writer’s Retreat along with four other published writers, in Lasswade just outside Edinburgh.
Ian has won many awards for his writing and his contribution to literature. He won the Chandler Fulbright Award in 1991-1992 and has won umpteen awards from the Crime Writers’ Association, including; two CWA Daggers for Short Stories, the CWA Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement. He has also received two Honorary Doctorates from the University of Abertay Dundee and St. Andrews University. And in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Honours list Ian was awarded an OBE for services to literature.
Rankin’s Rebus books were made into a television series starring John Hannah and Ken Stott. The series ran from 2000-2007. Exit Music was promised to be his final DI Rebus novel but he returned in 2012 with Standing In Another Man’s Grave and again in his latest book, Saints of the Shadow Bible. 2013 also marked Rankin’s debut as a playwright when he co-wrote Dark Road with Mark Thomson. The play premiered at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre in September 2013.
Ian spends his time in Edinburgh, London and France with his wife and two sons.