Born in Luton in 1976, Stephen Kelman had his first short story published in an adult anthology at the age of 16. He’s worked variously as a warehouse operative, a careworker and in marketing and local government administration, but finally quit the day job in pursuit of a career in writing. It was the correct decision. His debut novel, Pigeon English, which tackles the controversial issues surrounding young gang violence in London ‘with energy, humour and compassion’ (Guardian) sparked a bidding war between twelve separate publishers (the winners: Bloomsbury); gained him a place on the ‘Waterstones 11’ and the Culture Show’s ‘12 of the Best’ authors lists; as well as securing an adaptation commissioned by the BBC, directed by Adam Smith of the cult teen show Skins. Not a bad first attempt.