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 I moved to Australia, I used to be a travel writer and journalist. I wrote a couple of travel-related books, The Gringo Trail, about a trip I did through South American, and The Good Alternative Travel Guide, a groundbreaking guide to tourism projects designed to benefit local communities. (This has now been updated into The Ethical Travel Guide). 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. I’ve posted the contents of that book on another page on this website.
[Please note the Gringo Trail isn’t suitable for children due to occasional drug references.]