Eoin Colfer, whose name is pronounced Owen, was born in 1965 and grew up on the southeast coast of Ireland in Wexford. He was one of five boys brought up by parents who chose education as their profession. His father was a primary school teacher, and his mother taught drama. Colfer even attended the school where his father taught. With educators raising him, Colfer definitely knew the importance of education. He developed his interest in writing during elementary school. Inspired by history, Colfer wrote exciting Viking stories, even illustrating them himself.
When Colfer completed high school, he decided to become an educator like his parents. He attended Dublin University where he was trained to become a teacher. After completing college, he returned to Wexford to begin work as a primary school teacher. In 1991 he got married, and from 1992 until 1996, Colfer and his wife worked abroad in Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. He taught elementary school during the day and wrote stories in the evening. Eventually, in 1998, Colfer published his first book, Benny and Omar.
Based upon Colfer's experiences in Tunisia, Benny and Omar is about a twelve-year-old Irish boy whose life changes when his father is transferred to a job in Africa. Benny isn't appreciated by anyone until he meets Omar. Despite Omar only speaking English in television phrases, the two boys become close friends. When Omar decides to save his sister from a mental hospital, Benny agrees to help. Benny and Omar is sports related and adventurous. In 1999, Colfer published a sequel to Benny and Omar titled Benny and Babe. In this book, the confident, proud Benny meets Babe, a local tomboy who is respected by the local tough guys. Complications occur when Benny steps into Babe's business rescuing lost lures and flies.