William Owen Roberts was born in 1960 in Bangor, North Wales.
He attended the University of Wales from 1978-1981, graduating in Welsh literature and theatre studies. He then took an MA course on television plays, focussing primarily on the work of Dennis Potter. In 1983-4 he was writer-in-residence with Cwmni Cyfri Tri Theatre Company, then worked for five years as a Script Editor at HTV. He became a full-time writer in 1989.
He is best known for his novels, but also writes for theatre, radio and television. His first novel, Bingo! (1985), is a re-working of the diaries of Franz Kafka. His second novel, Y Pla (1987) is set in Wales, the Near-East and Europe in the 14th century, and was translated into English by Elisabeth Roberts as Pestilence in 1991. Paradwys (2001) is set during the American war of independence and the French revolution and deals with the abolition of slavery. Paris Arall, was published in 2007, and is about the experience of White Russians in exile, following the 1917 revolution.
William Owen Roberts lives in Cardiff with his wife and three daughters. His latest novel is Petrograd (2008), winner of the 2009 Wales Book of the Year Award (Welsh-language) and the ITV Wales People's Choice Award.