John McCrystal lives in Wellington with his partner, two children and a large, indefatigable dog. He has been working as a freelance writer since 1996, contributing to most of New Zealand's leading newspapers and magazines. Since publishing his first book in 1999, a biography of businessman Bob Owens, he has written, co-written or ghost-written over 50 non-fiction titles on a diverse range of subjects, including biography, social history, travel, sport and economics. He has also published a handful of short stories (some of which attracted national awards), a single radio play and (with broadcaster Graeme Hill) produced the very popular radio series, 'Shipwreck Tales'. Maps and charts have been a lifelong fascination.