Jim Grant, who adopted the pen name of Lee Child is an English thriller novelist and an Anthony Award winner for the best first novel. His novels are based on the adventures of Jack Reacher, a former American military policeman wandering the United States.
Grant was born in 1954 in Coventry, England. His father was a civil servant. When Grant was four, his parents decided to make a move to Handsworth Wood in Birmingham for the purpose of a better education for Grant and his three brothers. Up till eleven years of age, Grant attended the Orchard Primary School in Handsworth Wood where he was known to be a sharp boy. Later, Grant won a coincidental scholarship to the King Edward’s School, Birmingham, the same school famous writers J.R.R. Tolkien and Enoch Powell had attended. An avid reader, Grant dedicated a lot of his time to reading works of Enid Blyton, W.E Johns and Alistair MacLean.
Although Grant never intended to enter the legal profession, he went to law school in 1974 at the Sheffield University in Sheffield. He was twenty years old upon entering law school. Not much interested in law, Grant worked part-time backstage at a theatre during his years as a student and joined a commercial television channel after graduation.
Granada Television in Manchester was Lee’s workplace for eighteen years where we worked as a presenter director. He gained immense experience in the field working behind successful shows such as The Brideshead Revisited, Prime Suspect, Jewel in the Crown and Cracker. During his career at the channel, Grant wrote thousands of trailers, commercials and news stories and was involved in more than 40,000 hours of programming on Granada Television. In 1995, corporate restructuring unfortunately or rather fortunately became the reason for Grant’s career at the channel to end. What many would see as a crisis, Grant looked upon as an opportunity. He bought six dollars worth of pencils and paper and sat down to write a book, the purest form of entertainment according to him.
Killing Floor, Lee Child’s first novel was published in 1997. It was the first book of the Reacher series. An immediate success, the novel won Lee an Anthony Award and launched the thrilling series which has grown in terms of sale and impact with every new book.
A year after the publication of his first novel, Lee moved to the United States where he currently lives with his wife in New York State also owning a country house in south of France.
In 2007, Lee produced The Chopin Manuscript in collaboration with fourteen other writers. The 17 part serial thriller was broadcast weekly on Audible.com. In 2008, Lee took up visiting professorship at the University of Sheffield in UK where he also funded 52 Jack Reacher scholarships for students. In 2009, Grant was made president of the Mystery Writers of America.
Lee has been presented a number of awards acknowledging the success of his novels. Some of these honors include Barry, Dilys and Macavity awards for Killing Floor (1997), WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award for Die Trying (1998), Dilys and Ian Flemming Steel Dagger awards for Without Fail (2002), another Ian Flemming Steel Dagger Award for Persuader (2003), Dilys Award for The Enemy (2004) and The Bob Kellogg Good Citizen Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Internet Writing Community in 2005.