MICHAEL CONNELLY

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing - a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specialising in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars.