Kay worked for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), doing the radio program Scales of Justice, which then moved to television.
Kay describes himself as both "bookish" and "a jock" as a child.
Although he doesn't have a lot of time to read for enjoyment, Guy Gavriel Kay does enjoy reading the works of Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Cormac MacCarthy, among others.
Kay refers to his meeting Christopher Tolkien as a life-shifting experience; this meeting eventually lead to him co-editing The Silmarillion.
He studied law at the University of Toronto, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1982, but never practised law.
His parents are Samuel Kay (a surgeon) and Sybil Kay.
He is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and two sons.
In mid-April, 2002, Kay did a speaking tour in Croatia to promote the launch of his novel A Song For Arbonne (published originally in English in 1992.)
In July, 2002, Guy Gavriel Kay appeared at the Festival of Words in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. This was his first-ever reading in the province of his birth.
Guy Gavriel Kay appeared as the Guest of Honour at Conversion19/Canvention22, the Canadian National Science Fiction Convention in Calgary, in August 2002.
In June 2004, Guy Gavriel Kay appeared as a Guest at the first Mythic Journeys Conference in Atlanta. This conference is a gathering of authors, poets, artists, musicians and academics, and is sponsored in part by the Joseph Campbell Foundation, which promotes the study of mythology and comparative religion.
In October 2004, Guy Gavriel Kay was the Guest of Honour at Icon, the Israeli Science Fiction convention, held in Tel Aviv.
Guy Gavriel Kay appeared as the Guest of Honour at Eastercon, Britain's annual science fiction and fantasy convention, in April of 2000, held in Glasgow.
Kay's The Sarantine Mosaic (Sailing To Sarantium; Lord of Emperors) was chosen as a finalist in the Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards for Fantasy Literature in 2001.
Kay's novel, Lord of Emperors (2000), was short-listed for the Sunburst Awards 2001, which are given for fantasy novels published by Canadian authors in the previous year.
Kay's novel, Lord of Emperors (2000), was on the final ballot for the World Fantasy Awards in 2001.
Amazon Canada's list of the Top 50 'Essential' Canadian books included Kay's novel The Last Light of the Sun (2004), listed at number 40.
Kay's novel, The Last Light of the Sun (2004), was on the Washington Post's Year's Best Fiction list for 2004.
Kay's novel, The Last Light of the Sun (2004), was on January Magazine's list of Best Fiction of 2004.
Kay's novel, The Last Light of the Sun (2004), was on the Readersread.com list of Best Books of 2004.
Kay's novel, The Last Light of the Sun (2004), was nominated for the Canadian Sunburst Award in 2005. The Sunburst is awarded to a Canadian author as selected by a panel for excellence in speculative fiction.
Kay's novel, The Lions of Al-Rassan (1995), has been nominated for the Geffen Award in the category of "Translated Fantasy Books" for the awards to be presented in 2005. The Geffen Awards are given by The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy.
His novel Tigana (1990) was the winner of the 1991 Aurora Award.
His novel, The Wandering Fire (1986), the second book in The Fionavar Tapestry, was the winner of the 1987 Aurora Award.
(on "The Fionavar Tapestry")
Guy: I saw myself to some degree as trying to say: I'm going to use as many of the central motifs and themes of high fantasy as I can, and I shall try to give the lie to those who have debased it, by showing that there's still a great deal of life in the genre, that it's infinitely larger than twenty years' of hack work. We're not capable of debasing it, ultimately.
(on creating characters of different ages and sexes) Guy: Creating characters is, in a large way, an act of imaginative empathy, and I'm resistant to the idea that there are absolute borders to that.