Jay grew up on the east coast of the United States. In his 20s, he moved to Ireland and later England. When he was younger, he had many jobs: sandwich-maker, hod carrier, tutor, care worker in a residential home for juvenile offenders and a Montessori teacher. Jay worked in odd places too like a strip mine, a brewery, demolition sites, a factory and sandblasting bridges. Some jobs were fun (He can still make a mean sandwich). Others were downright awful. For the last 20 years or so, he has been a primary teacher. Telling stories to children and reading them his favourite novels inspired him to become a writer. He has a place on Bath Spa’s MA in Writing for Young People and won an honorary mention from United Artists as one of its most promising writers. That helped him find an agent, Becky Bagnell, and – many re-writes later – a publishing contract with Hachette. His debut novel, Fire Boy, a comedy-adventure aimed at 8-12 year-olds, published in March 2020.