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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Ian McDowell

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Ian McDowell

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Full Name: Ian McDowell
Nationality: American


Ian McDowell was born in Wisconsin but grew up in North Carolina, the only son of a librarian mother who loved Charles Addams, James Baldwin, Rudyard Kipling and John Donne, and a deejay, copywriter and amateur actor father who loved Shakespeare, Shaw, and Stoppard, but also C. S. Forester, Dick Francis, Josephine Tey and Donald Hamilton. After introducing Ian to Maurice Sendak, Kipling, Baum, Lewis Carroll, and E. Nesbit, his mother began reading The Lord of the Rings aloud to him ever night when he was six years old. When she became too sick from the leukemia that would kill her, his father continued midway through The Two Towers.

An old-school Monster Kid, Ian grew up reading Famous Monsters of Filmland and Castle of Frankenstein and watching Hammer films double features in the downtown North Carolina grindhouse cinemas of Fayetteville's notorious Hay Street, where he started working at a newsstand at the age of 16, and where his customers included a pimp named Sweet Jesus Jones, who pretended the "Angelique" bodice-rippers he bought were for his prostitutes. During slow times at work, Ian read every magazine in the store, from The Monster Times, Crawdaddy and the National Lampoon to the nudie mags in the back, as well as paperbacks ranging from the novels of Tanith Lee and short fiction of Harlan Ellison, to "men's adventure" series like Destroyer and the Inquisitor.

At 17, Ian unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Mordred in a community theater production of Camelot (in which future horror movie legend Tom Savini, then Ian's neighbor, played Arthur). This, along with actually getting cast as the character in a dinner theater production when he was 21, led, decades later, to his first and second novels, Mordred's Curse and Merlin's Gift. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

When Ian was 12, his favorite authors were Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and Ian Fleming. Later, he discovered Shirley Jackson, M. R. James, Ray Bradbury, Margaret St. Clair, T. H. White, Peter S. Beagle, Angela Carter and Kelly Link.

After over a decade spent writing nonfiction, journalism and articles for the Encyclopedia of Alabama, as well as successfully battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Ian has returned to fiction.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works


 Mordred's Curse

 1. (1996)
 2. (1997)