Robert Ferrigno was born in South Florida, a tropical backwater rife with mosquitoes and flying cockroaches. After earning degrees in philosophy, filmmaking, and creative writing, he returned to his first love: poker. He spent the next five years gambling fulltime and living in an area populated by starving artists, alcoholics, thieves, and drug dealers, becoming friends with many people who would later populate his novels. He used some of his winnings to start a punk rock magazine called the Rocket, for which he interviewed The Clash, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, and other popular bands. The success of the Rocket earned him a job as a feature writer for a daily newspaper in Southern California, where he took the adventure-and-new-money beat. For the seven years he worked there, he flew jets with the Blue Angels, drove Ferraris, and went for desert survival training with gun nuts. He ultimately gave up his day job to become a novelist.