2007 Guest of Honor Michael Connelly


International award winning, bestselling author Michael Connelly
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, Michael worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing 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. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors that was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Michael into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written. 
After three years on the crime beat in Los Angeles, Michael began writing his first novel The Black Echo and was published in 1992. He won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Michael has followed that up with 18 more novels including The Concrete Blond, The Poet, Blood Work, and The Lincoln Lawyer. His books have been translated into 31 languages and have won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus, Dilys, Nero, Barry, Audie, Ridley, Maltese Falcon (Japan), .38 Caliber (France), Grand Prix (France), and Premio Bancarella (Italy) awards.