Gareth Ward, a.k.a. The Great Wardini, is a magician, hypnotist, storyteller, bookseller and author. He has worked as a Royal Marine commando, police officer, evil magician and zombie. Born in the town of Banbury in the UK, he attended the University of York where he gained a joint honours degree in biology and computer science. Ward currently resides in Hawke's Bay, where he runs two independent bookshops, Wardini Books and Wardini Books Napier with his wife Louise and son Max. His first novel, The Traitor and the Thief, a young adult steampunk adventure, won the 2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award and has just been launched as a published work at the Storylines Festival 2017.