William Patrick (W.P.) Kinsella was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on May 25, 1935. His father, John, was a plastering contractor. His mother, Olive, home-schooled him on a remote Alberta homestead near Darwell. At 10 years of age, his family moved into Edmonton. He began writing at a young age, winning a YMCA prize at age 14 for a short story called Diamond Doom about a murder in a ballpark. After working at a variety of jobs, he began taking writing courses at the University of Victoria in 1970. He received a BA from Victoria in 1974 and began selling his stories in 1975. He earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1978. In 1983, he began making his living as a writer on a fulltime basis.