It was a novel experience for bestselling author Stuart MacBride as he picked up an honorary degree at an Aberdeen graduation ceremony.
He received an honorary award of Doctor of Literature (Hon DLit) from Robert Gordon University (RGU) yesterday.
Chancellor of RGU Sir Ian Wood conferred the award at the university’s graduation ceremony in recognition of Mr MacBride’s contribution to the creative industries and close links to the North-east.
The author took up writing in his mid-20s after encouragement from friends, ultimately securing the publishing deal that delivered his Logan McRae debut Cold Granite in 2005.
He said: “I’m feeling really both honoured and cheery. This is very special because I never expected any of this.
“I never expected to be a writer, so to be here after 16 books and getting this from a university in Aberdeen where I’ve written about, I’m just very chuffed.”
He has been nominated several times for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, won the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library and was named Best Breakthrough Author at the 2008 ITV Crime Thriller Awards.
In his acceptance speech he told graduates they should be prepared to fail to succeed in life. Mr MacBride said his life had not taken a straight path.
He said: “I was going to be an architect, I went to Heriot-Watt University but hated it.
“It was a massive failure and I should never have gone there, but I went on to something else, had a bit of success and a bit of failure and moved on.
“If you don’t try things and you’re not prepared to fail, all you will ever do is that one safe thing. History is never made by people who do the safe one thing.”
Principal of RGU Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski said: “Stuart is a hugely respected and admired author here in the North-east of Scotland and world-wide, having sold more than 3.5 million books.
“We are very proud to be able to recognise him in this way.”