Jess Walter was born on July 20, 1965. He graduated from Eastern Washington University. Before becoming an author, he worked as a journalist. His work has appeared in Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. He has written one nonfiction book and several novels. His works include Every Knee Shall Bow, Over Tumbled Graves, The Zero, and Beautiful Ruins. His novel, Citizen Vince, won the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. He was the co-author of Christopher Darden's 1996 bestseller In Contempt.