Mark Lawrence was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. After earning a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College London, he went back to the US to work on a variety of research projects, including the "Star Wars" missile-defense program. Since returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He never had any ambition to be a writer, so he was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a groundbreaking work of fantasy, and both Emperor of Thorns and The Liar's Key have won the David Gemmell Legend Award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.