Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) was born in Wexford on the South-East coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four brothers were brought up by his father (an elementary school teacher, historian and artist of note) and mother (a drama teacher). He first developed an interest in writing in primary (elementary) school with gripping Viking stories inspired by history he was learning in school at the time!
After leaving school he got his degree from Dublin university and qualified as a primary school teacher, returning to work in Wexford. He married in 1991 and he and his wife spent about four years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been translated into many languages. Then in 2001 the first Artemis Fowl book was published and he was able to resign from teaching and concentrate fully on writing.