Ian Watt was born in Warkworth and raised in Auckland. After completing an MA in English Language and Literature at the University of Auckland, he travelled to the United Kingdom where he initially worked at Decca Records before finding his true niche as a book editor and publisher. He worked in London at Thames & Hudson, SPCK and the Royal Society of Arts before returning to New Zealand, where he became the Managing Editor at Reed Publishing. There, for the first time in New Zealand, he published openly gay works of fiction by Peter Wells, Witi Ihimaera and Robert Leek. After a stint as publisher at HarperCollins, he abandoned the multinational publishing machine to become a freelance editor and publisher for Exisle Publishing. Following his retirement, he is now turning his hand to writing his own books.