Witi Ihimaera has written thirteen novels, among them The Whale Rider in 1987, and six collections of short stories and works for children. His last novel was The Parihaka Woman in 2011, and The Thrill of Falling is his seventh short story collection. Ihimaera has also had careers in teaching, theatre, opera, film and television. His work was set to music by well-known contemporary musicians in Ihimaera commissioned for the 2011 Auckland Arts Festival. His words for Kaitiaki, composed by Gareth Farr, were presented at a Beethoven concert by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in September of the same year. He has travelled extensively, most recently to festivals and conferences in Britain, Germany and New Caledonia. He lives in Auckland.