Steven Conte was born in Sydney in 1966 and raised in Guyra in rural New South Wales. After six years in a country boarding school, he worked for a year as a bank teller in Sydney before hitchhiking 3000 kilometres around Europe. He was a cleaner in Brussels and a waiter in Cornwall. He also lived for several months in Berlin, an experience that later provided the initial inspiration for The Zookeeper's War.
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