John Gleeson was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He began his newspaper career at age sixteen, writing theatre reviews and covering news beats in the border city of White Rock. He shipped out as an ordinary seaman, clerked in a hardware store and failed as a gardener before returning to newspaper work. An award-winning environmental reporter, Gleeson was city editor then editorial page editor for the Winnipeg Sun from 1997 to 2007. His opinion columns and editorials appearing in Sun Media dailies in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. His writings have been reprinted in The Week and other U.S. publications. In May 2006, one of Gleeson’s columns was included as the last word in a historic brief to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Cabinet on behalf of Chinese head tax survivors.

 Gleeson, a devoted student of Dashiell Hammett and vintage noir fiction, says he opted to remain in tabloid newspapers, rather than switch to the more lucrative and respectable broadsheets, because tabloids provided a superior outlet for writing in a hard-boiled style.

He has three grown children and is currently editor of the Mountain View Gazette in Olds, Alberta, which serves the Red Deer to Calgary region. Coast Growers is his first novel.