Joel Shepherd was born in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1974, but when he was seven his family moved to Perth in Western Australia. He studied film and television at Curtin University but realized that what he really wanted to do was write stories. His first manuscript was short-listed for the George Turner Prize in 1998, and Crossover was short-listed in 1999. Apart from writing, Joel helps in his mother's business, selling Australian books to international schools in Asia and beyond. This has given him the opportunity to travel widely in Asia and other parts of the world. Joel also writes about women's basketball for an American Internet magazine.