David McGill is a New Zealand social historian who has published 53 books. Born in Auckland, educated in the Bay of Plenty and at a Christchurch seminary, he trained as a teacher and did a BA at Victoria University of Wellington. He worked as a feature writer for The Listener, Sydney’s The Bulletin, London’s TVTimes, wrote columns for the Evening Post in Wellington and edited a local lifestyle magazine before becoming a full-time writer in 1984. His book subjects include Ghost Towns of New Zealand and the country’s first bushranger, local and national heritage buildings, Kiwi prisoners of war, the history of the NZ Customs Department, a biography of a criminal lawyer, a personal history of rock music, a rail journey around the country, historical and comic novels, several thrillers and six collections of Kiwi slang. He collects owl figurines and reads thrillers.