|Andrew Gross is the author of several best-selling thrillers, some written alone and some in collaboration with the blockbuster novelist James Patterson. Of his chosen genre, Gross told one interviewer, "Thriller writing is the single most relevant genre of fiction being written today, because it reflects the conflicts and crises and stories that we read every day in the news and that shape our world." Born in New York City, Gross earned a master's degree in business administration from Columbia University. He then joined his family's women's apparel company and later struck out on his own, becoming an executive at a series of sportswear firms. When he was fired from his last position, he decided to pursue a long-held dream of writing a political thriller. Although no publishing house was interested in his manuscript, his work came to the attention of Patterson, who was looking for a collaborator. The pair quickly reached an agreement and ultimately co-wrote six books, including THIRD DEGREE, THE JESTER, and LIFEGUARD. In 2007 Gross published his solo debut, THE BLUE ZONE. His novels are now widely praised for featuring complex family dynamics and relatable characters. He credits his time in the business world for much of his success. "The people who come to our craft [of thriller writing] aren't just graduate students, or MFA candidates or teachers," he has said, "but CIA agents and journalists and doctors and lawyers whose experiences in life inform their work."