Born to parents Linda Hirshberg (psychologist) and Jerry Hirshberg (painter, founder of Nissan Design International, and author of The Creative Priority), Hirshberg began telling stories at the age of three. "My mother was a psychologist, my father a designer and painter, and I think their influence still resonates through everything I write. I can’t draw a straight line, but I love painting with the language, and what interests me most in stories, even the spooky ones, is the way people respond to and discover one another as their lives unfold or unravel." Hirshberg was ten years old in 1976 when the Oakland County Child Killer began to kidnap and kill children in his neighborhood. This formative experience finds outlet in the plot of Hirshberg's first novel The Snowman's Children which, as Publisher's Weekly relates, is the story of an adult coming to terms with his "1970s suburban childhood. In the winter of 1977, a serial killer dubbed "The Snowman" haunted a quiet Michigan neighborhood, preying on the town's children." In 1980, Hirshberg moved with his family to Southern California when his father, Jerry Hirshberg, took a job with Nissan Design. Hirshberg graduated from Torrey Pines High School before earning his B.A. from Columbia University in 1988, where he won the Bennett Cerf Prize, and his M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Montana in Missoula in 1991. Hirshberg then moved to Seattle where he worked as a music critic and writer for the Seattle Weekly among other publications. He currently teaches and lives with his family in the Los Angeles area.