George P. Pelecanos, the author of more than a dozen crime-noir novels, spent years developing his writing talent and gathering his material from his life experiences in Washington, D.C. He was employed as a line cook, dishwasher, bartender, shoe salesman, electronics salesman and unskilled laborer -- all\before publishing his first novel. His novels have won several awards, including International Crime Novel of the Year for The Big Blowdown (1996) and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Hell to Pay in 2003 and again in 2004 for Soul Circus. His most recent novel is The Night Gardener (Little, Brown, 2006). He works regularly as a screenwriter and independent-film producer and is a writer and producer for the acclaimed HBO television series â€œThe Wire.â€ He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.