Garcia attended Cornell University to study English and film, then transferred to the University of Southern California during his junior year. His first novel, Anonymous Rex was published in 1999.
The second novel in the Rex series, Casual Rex, was published in 2001, and was a prequel to Anonymous Rex, a fact which was not on the book flap. The inclusion of characters in Casual Rex who were dead in Anonymous Rex confused many fans, who assumed that the book was a sequel.
In 2002, Random House published Matchstick Men, a novel completely different from Garcia's prior work. Warner Brothers had already purchased the film rights and signed Ridley Scott as the director, with Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman as the film's stars. The film version, released in September 2003, received good reviews but was an average performer at the box office.
2004 was a busy year for Garcia. His third book in the Rex series, Hot And Sweaty Rex, was published early in the year, and in June, HarperCollins/ReganBooks published Cassandra French's Finishing School For Boys, a hard-core satire of the chick-lit genre.
Also in 2004, the SciFi Channel showed the two-hour TV-movie pilot for Anonymous Rex, which was based on Casual Rex but kept the name of the original book. The show received negative reviews from both critics and fans and was never made into a series.
In June 2009, it was announced that Jude Law and Forest Whitaker would star in Repo Men, a movie co-written by Garcia with Garrett Lerner, a writer for Fox Broadcasting's House. The movie is based on Garcia's 2009 original paperback novel for HarperCollins, The Repossession Mambo.
As of 2010, Garcia has also written an adaptation of John Searles book Strange but True, a thriller to be directed by Alex and David Pastor.
As of October 2011, Garcia has signed on to write and executive produce a pilot for a TV series adapted from his novel Cassandra French's Finishing School For Boys for MTV, along with actress Krysten Ritter as a fellow exec. producer.
Eric Garcia married his wife, Sabrina, in 1995, and lives in Southern California with his wife, two daughters,and their two dogs.