Born in New York and educated at Beloit College in Wisconsin, Roy has been Associate Editor for the nationally renowned Beloit Poetry Journal, and for the national desk of The New York Times.
He received a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan, where he wrote and directed "Persona Non Grata," an Ann Arbor International Film Festival prize winner.
As a graduate student of poetry, Roy’s work was among those selected by Poet Laureate Robert Hayden for inclusion in the year’s BEST AMERICAN POETRY anthology.
As a songwriter, Roy has written for Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Gloria Estefan, Alan Jackson and many others, while under exclusive contracts to Warner Brothers and EMI Music. He's received numerous BMI Most Performed Song Awards, Million Performance Awards, and gold and platinum certifications, with songs in the “top ten” on the Billboard charts, and featured in such films as Top Gun, and Donnie Brasco,
As a screenwriter, Roy has written for DreamWorks (Salvati), Warner Brothers and Sony (Winged Creatures), and with Debrah Neal for Fox Searchlight (Frontin’).
As a novelist, Roy wrote WINGED CREATURES (St. Martin’s Press, 2008)., exploring the aftermath of a random act of gun violence. Published in five languages, the novel was one of five fiction finalists for the Southern California Independent Bookseller’s award 2009. He adapted it for the 2009 feature film (re-titled Fragments), starring Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson, Josh Hutcherson, Kate Beckinsale, Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, Walt Goggins.
For the stage, Seattle 5th Avenue Theater has commissioned Roy and his wife Debrah Neal to adapt Anne Rice’s CRY TO HEAVEN.
Current projects include the female-driven drama-thriller Torn, written with Debrah Neal, with Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records) directing, and Stephanie Allain (BoysZ in the Hood, Dear White People) producing.
Roy's most recent novel DEPRIVATION (Meerkat Press) has been named Finalist for Best Thriller 2020 by Foreward Reviews.