Maria Gill has a teaching and journalism background, but now writes full time from a seaside village north of Auckland. Gill's book Anzac Heroes won the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults Non-fiction Award, the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and was a Storylines Notable Book. She has written 62 books for children and teachers, many of which have an environmental theme. Her book The Call of the Kokako was shortlisted for two awards and was also a Storylines Notable Book. Gill's interest in native birds and caring for the environment comes from travelling the outback of Australia with her family, and living near the sea.