Barry Faville was born in Hamilton and educated at Waihi College and the University of Auckland. He has taught secondary school English since 1961, mainly in Taupo. He remembers reading a lot as a child but can’t recall any one author having an everlasting influence on him. He must have enjoyed Richard Crompton’s William books, however, because he read them all. Barry recalls: ‘My reading tended to proceed in phases; at one stage I could have escaped from any World War II prisoner-of-war camp you cared to put me in. I read every book on the subject I could find’ (Beneath Southern Skies, 1993).