Mary Garden is a freelance writer and has a PhD in journalism. Her first book The Serpent Rising: a journey of spiritual seduction (1988; 2003) is a memoir of her years in India in the 1970s where she fell under the spell of various self-appointed ‘god-men’. It was one of the first books to shine a light on the danger of the guru-disciple relationship, especially for naive Westerners. In 2005 she wrote a long-form feature on her father’s epic flight which was published in the Australian Financial Review. The huge response to this from readers all over the world led her on a journey to research his life and write his remarkable story.