Ian H. McKinley was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ten days later, his parents dragged him off to live in Northern Ireland until the age of five. Then they dragged him back to Canada, to live in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (Canada has interesting place names, many dealing with wildlife such as Moose Factory, Bear Beach, etc. or with body parts such as Elbow, Eyebrow [no, we're not having you on], or, dealing with both such as Moose Jaw). Of course, as soon as he breathed the pure Saskatchewan air, his blood turned the green of the Roughriders. It was a hard condition to avoid during the time of Ronny Lancaster and George Reed. Five years later, his parents dragged him off to Lethbridge, Alberta, where he spent the remainder of his youth and where he subsequently went to university.

Ian and his wife of 27 years, Josée Lanctôt, have a“modern”family that includes Sanja, adopted from an animal shelter and who is supposedly half-Labrador, half-German Shepherd. Both Ian and Josée are convinced that she has a third half ... cat! Together they all live in Canadas National Capital Region.

He is now taking leave to pursue his passion of writing fantasy that is anchored in the realistic interaction of ambitions, fears, and passions rather than pure good against absolute evil.

Ian's narratives are driven by alignments and/or collisions of human interests and values. His first novel, The Gallows Gem of Prallyn explored an explosive mixture of zealotry, class oppression, and nationalism, the results of which take the reader on a gripping adventure. He unveiled his second novel, Harbinger, Book One of Northern Fire, at the 2016 Frye Festival (Atlantic Canada’s largest literary event), in which he participated as a “Prélude Emerging Writer.” Harbinger explores the role of violence in society and between different peoples as well as the question of whether an individual can change the fate of an entire nation.

An Ottawa-based publisher, Lugar Común Editorial, secured the rights to the Northern Fire series in 2019 and has republished the first book in two volumes, Harbinger and The Broken Dream. The Winter Wars, Book Three of the Northern Fire, is ready for release in May, 2021.

Prior to becoming a writer, Ian had an interesting career as a diplomat with Canada's foreign ministry. He served abroad in Colombia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and at the Canadian Mission to the United Nations in New York. He speaks English, French and Spanish.

Ian is also a proud fan of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders and Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League. As soccer increases its beachhead in North America, Ian has broadened his support for football clubs to include the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer as well as the Halifax Wanderers of the Canadian Premier League.

In addition to appreciating sports, Ian enjoys travelling, sports, canoeing and camping in remote areas, gastronomy, music, cinema, and, gaming with his friends (you can find out a bit more about Ian's gaming vice elsewhere on this website).

If you follow Ian's Twitter feed, you will know he also retweets in support of foundations that assist animals as well as the fight against cancer.

Ian is a proud member of the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.


The Cat