James Ellroy was born and raised in Los Angeles, and had a particularly traumatic childhood in that his mother was murdered when he was only 10 years old and the killer never found. His parents were separated at the time and Ellroy was taken back and then brought up by his father, a rather feckless character who provided little in the way of guidance for his son. Ellroy subsequently drifted into a life of petty crime and drug-taking in his teens and twenties, giving him first-hand experience of the operations of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Californian justice system that he would draw on in his later writings. Eventually he joined Alcoholics Anonymous and recovered from his addictions, since when he has produced an …
Sim, Stuart. "James Ellroy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 February 2009; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5771, accessed 20 April 2015.]