Hi, I’m Mark Mann, author of The Stone Gate. I live in the small town of Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast, about an hour north of Sydney, and work as a journalist for a Sydney newspaper. Woy Woy is the inspiration for Baytown in The Stone Gate, a small coastal town surrounded by beautiful national parks and forests (in Australia we call it “bush”). I spend a lot of time bushwalking in these forests. These walks were my inspiration for The Stone Gate.I grew up in a very different place, London in England. There’s not much bush there. Before coming to Australia, I used to be a travel writer and journalist, and wrote a couple of travel books. The Gringo Trail, is the story of a trip I took through South American. Interestingly, the Gringo Trail was, I believe, the first travel book about backpacking. (I wrote it before Alex Garland's The Beach but it was published just afterwards.) My other travel book, The Good Alternative Travel Guide, was a groundbreaking guide to tourism projects designed to benefit local communities. Some of my experiences of visiting tribal communities have informed sections of The Stone Gate. I also wrote a book called The Little Green Guide, with environmental organisation Planet Ark.