Jay Cannon grew up in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. He became hooked on science fiction when he used to run home from junior high school to catch the original episodes of Star Trek. He spent six years in the U.S. Navy working on the flight deck of aircraft carriers, which felt like being on a starship. After leaving the Navy he spent several years in the software industry. During that period he passed time reading science fiction books and watching science fiction movies. He eventually decided to stop writing programs and start writing books.