Billy Martin, known professionally as Poppy Z. Brite, is celebrated for his popular contributions to the horror genre. A fixture of the New Orleans arts scene, he has said that growing up in the American South “shaped him as a writer,” citing authors like Truman Capote and William Faulkner as influences.
Brite grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He left the university in order to pursue a career in writing and was first published at the age of eighteen. His first novel was met with critical acclaim; since then, he has published several novels and contributed short stories to a number of horror-fiction anthologies.
Brite has been awarded several honors, including the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Gambit Weekly named him the second-most popular local author based on a 2009 readers’ poll. Brite has also written successfully outside of the horror genre and, after a decade-long hiatus, resurfaced with a new short story in the fall of 2016. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, with his partner, local artist Grey Cross.