R J Samuel was born in Nigeria, to Indian parents from Kerala. She grew up in different parts of Nigeria with a brief stint in boarding school in the Nilgiri Hills in India and occasional summers in Kerala, London, and New York. She moved to Ireland at 17 to complete her medical studies and vividly remembers the shock of arriving at Galway Train Station on an icy October night. Despite that traumatic first meeting, she fell in love with Galway and has remained there since, apart from a 3-year episode in the southwest of France. She is an Irish citizen and now considers herself almost Irish as well as almost Indian.
She has been writing creatively for years, apart from her period in France where she wrote nothing creative, probably because she was running a restaurant-bar despite having a background in Medicine (she is a qualified medical doctor) and IT (she has a Masters in IT) and absolutely no background in restaurants, apart from eating in them.
Her first novel, 'Heart Stopper,' was published in February 2012 and her second novel, 'Falling Colours - The Misadventures of a Vision Painter,' in June 2012. Her third novel, Casting Shadows - The Further Misadventures of a Vision Painter, was published in January 2013. Her novels are set in the West of Ireland, in Galway and Connemara, and also in Kerala, India.
Her story 'Helmets' was shortlisted for the 2011 Over the Edge 'New Writer of the Year Competition' and she was the only entrant to have both her fiction and her poetry long-listed for the Doire Press '1st Annual International Fiction and Poetry Chapbook Competition' in January 2012. Her fiction entry, 'The Vision Painter,' went on to be shortlisted for this competition and was the basis for her second novel, 'Falling Colours - The Misadventures of a Vision Painter.' Her story 'Parallel Lives' was shortlisted for the 2012 Over the Edge 'New Writer of the Year Competition'.