|Soon after his birth, Stephen R. Donaldson moved with his parents--a medical missionary and a prosthetist--from Cleveland, Ohio to India, where his father worked extensively with lepers. Returning to the U.S. in 1963, Donaldson attended the College of Wooster, where he received a B.A. in 1968, followed by an M.A. from Kent State University in 1971. Shortly thereafter, he began work on THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT. Clearly inspired by his time in India, it tells the story of a leper drawn into an alternate reality, where, much to his annoyance, he is expected to be a hero. The manuscript completed, Donaldson began sending the book to publishers alphabetically. It was rejected by every one. As a last-ditch effort, he re-sent it to Ballantine Books, the publisher of Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS, a series to which Donaldson felt his work bore some similarities as far as structure and style. As luck would have it, Ballantine had hired a new editor since the previous mailing, and together they came up with some extensive changes, which Donaldson then used to revise the book. It appeared in 1977, split into three volumes, to great acclaim. Eventually becoming a six-book series, the Covenant books comprise Donaldson's major work to date. His five-volume Gap series was also met with considerable fanfare. In addition to these titles and a handful of other books, Donaldson has written short stories and, under a pseudonym, several detective novels.