Louis Sachar is a well-established author whose children's and young adult fiction has earned him numerous accolades, including the National Book Award, the New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year, the New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, and the Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.
Sachar grew up in New York and California, and attended college in Ohio briefly before moving back to California to attend the University of California at Berkeley. He worked as a salesman and then as a teacher's aide - an experience which provided all the material for his first published book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Sachar then went to law school and practiced as a lawyer until 1989, when he dedicated himself completely to writing. He and his family currently live in Texas.
Sachar's interest in literature began in high school; he cites authors like J. D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut as early inspirations.
Sachar has tried several genres, and has remarked that Holes, for example, is very different from his first book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School. He writes fiction, and mostly humorous fiction for children and young adults. Although his books tend to be short - understandable given that their target audience is relatively young - they can take up to two years to write, and Sachar submits the manuscripts to five or six rewrites.
Holes remains perhaps Sachar's best-known and best-loved work. The book began, Sachar says, with the setting, a juvenile correctional facility in the desert, and over the next year and a half, it grew into a humorous and tender story that spans continents and generations. The author has commented on the difficulty of juggling three storylines in the novel, and has said that Kate Barlow is his favorite character in the novel. He also claims to have based the character of the Warden on a woman with whom he played bridge. In 2003, Sachar wrote the screenplay to turn Holes into a successful motion picture starring Shia Labeouf and Sigourney Weaver. An indirect sequel to Holes titled Small Steps was published in 2006, which focuses on the lives of some of the minor characters, a few years after they leave Camp Green Lake.