Jim Grant (born 1954), known by his pen name Lee Child, is a famous British mystery and thriller writer. His spouse Jane is a New Yorker and the couple currently resides in New York. His first novel, Killing Floor, brought him instant success and also won him the Anthony Award for Best First Novel.
Each of Child's novels speak about the adventures of a former American Military Policeman named Jack Reacher, who wanders across United States.
Though Grant was born in Coventry, England, his parents moved him and his three brothers to Handsworth Wood in Birmingham when he was four so that the boys could get a better education. He attended King Edward's School, Birmingham. His father was a civil servant and his younger brother, is also a thriller writer called Andrew Grant.
Some of Grant's early influences include Enid Blyton, W.E. Johns, and Alistair MacLean. In 1974 at age 20, Grant attended law school in Sheffield at Sheffield University, though he had no intention of pursuing law as a profession. During his student days, he worked backstage in a theatre and landed himself a job in commercial television after graduating.
Grant joined Granada Television in Manchester as presentation director. There he was involved with shows including Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown (TV series), Prime Suspect, and Cracker. Grant was responsible for transmitting more than 40,000 hours of programming for Granada, writing commercials, news stories, and trailers. He stayed with Granada from 1977 till 1995.
He then decided to start penning novels, stating this was "the purest form of entertainment." In 1997 his first novel, Killing Floor, was published and he moved to the US in 1998. He has said that he chose the name Reacher for the central character in his novels because he is himself tall and, in a supermarket, his wife Jane told him: "If this writing thing doesn't pan out, you could always be a reacher in a supermarket."... "I thought, Reacher — good name." Some of his novels based on the Reacher series are written in first person, while a few others are written in the third person. In 2007, Child collaborated with 14 other writers to create the 17-part serial thriller The Chopin Manuscript narrated by Alfred Molina that was broadcast weekly on Audible.com.
Child was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America in 2009.