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R.J. Ellory (Roger Jon Ellory) was born in Birmingham, England, June 20th 1965.
Roger began his first novel on November 4th, 1987 and did not stop until July of 1993. During this time he completed twenty-two novels, most of them in longhand, and accumulated several hundred polite and complimentary rejection letters from many different and varied publishers. The standard response from the UK publishing trade was that they could not consider the possibility of publishing books based in the United States written by an Englishman. He was advised to send his work to American publishers, which he duly did, and received from them equally polite and complimentary rejection letters that said it was not possible for American publishers to publish books set in the US written by an Englishman. Roger stopped writing out of sheer frustration and did not start again until August 2001.
In 2001, Roger took an office-based job for the first time in his life. He was shown how to use a computer, how to create a word document, and decided to use his lunch hours to start writing again. Between August 2001 and January 2002 he wrote three books, the second of which was called Candlemoth. This was purchased by Orion and published in 2003. Candlemoth was translated into German, Dutch and Italian, and has now also been purchased for translation into Swedish, French and several other languages.
As of 2013, RJ Ellory had published eleven novels, the most recent entitled The Devil and the River. Candlemoth, his first-published, was shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger, as was his fourth, City of Lies, in 2006. His fifth novel, A Quiet Belief In Angels was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection in 2007, and went on to win the Livre De Poche Award, The Strand Magazine Novel of The Year, The Mystery Booksellers of America Award, and the Inaugural Nouvel Observateur Prize. A Quiet Vendetta won the Quebec Laureat and the Villeneuve Readers' Prize. A Simple Act of Violence, Ellory's sixth novel, won the UK Crime Novel of the Year 2010. He has been nominated for a further seven international awards including three Barrys, the 813 Trophy, and the Europeen Du Point. His books are now available in twenty-four languages. He is also the singer and guitar player of the band, 'The Whiskey Poets'.
On numerous occasions people have tried to identify Roger's work with a particular genre - crime, thriller, historical fiction - but this categorization has been a relatively fruitless endeavor. Roger's ethos is merely to work towards producing a good story, something that encapsulates elements of humanity and life without necessarily slotting into a predetermined pigeonhole.