Walter Macken was born in Galway in 1915. A prolific writer, Macken wrote numerous short stories, articles, plays and children's books, in addition to his ten novels. Much of his early life was bound up with the theatre. A talented actor and playwright, he was involved in the production of some seventy-seven plays between 1939 and 1947 alone, before becoming Assistant Manager and Artistic Advisor with the Abbey Theatre in the 1960s. Following his onstage success, Macken was offered an enormous sum of money to star in a US-based film production. He refused, saying he had to 'go home to finish a novel'. That novel became The Bogman (1952), and six further novels would follow. He died in 1967 in his native Galway at the age of just fifty-one.