Graduated from faculty of journalism of Moscow State University in 1981. Minaev began his career of journalist in "Komsomolskaya Pravda", worked in magazines "Ogonyok", "City of women", "Story". In 1982 Minaev came to the seminar by Yakov Akim and Sergey Ivanov for young writers. By that time Minaev had written just two small stories about schoolboys. The seminar was devoted to children's literature and later put a beginning for the "Black chicken" society of children's writers
(M. Moskvina, M. Boroditskaya, Tim Sobakin, O. Kurguzov, Lev Yakovlev, J. Netchiporenko and others). In 1988-1990 Minaev finished his first cycle of stories from "Leva's Childhood". This manuscript led him to become a member of Writers' Union. The book itself released only in 2001 and became the most famous and quotated book of Minaev (not including Yeltsin's biography). You can find excerpts from this book in studies on modern Russian language as well as in school compendiums for extracurricular reading.
Minaev is an author of historical novels "Soft fabric. Batist" and "Soft fabric. Cloth". Also he wrote a detailed biography of the first Russian president Boris Yeltsin. Minaev won lots of literary prizes. Honored worker of culture of the Russian Federation (1999).
In 2016 Minaev is a member of jury of documental section.