Graeme Lay was born in 1944 in Foxton. He graduated from Victoria University of Wellington and became a school teacher. He soon became books editor of North and South magazine in 1992. He has published two novels, The Mentor (1978) and The Fools on the Hill (1988), two collections of short stories, Dear Mr Cairney and Motu Tapu, and edited four short story anthologies, Metro Fiction, the popularly successful 100 New Zealand Short Short Stories, Another 100 New Zealand Short Short Stories, and The Third Century. He has since changed his focus to non-fiction with Passages: Journeys in Polynesia (1993), Pacific New Zealand (1996) and, in the planned `Pacific Pride' series, his working titles are The Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Fij and James Cook Lost World.