Todd McEwen was born in Southern California in the 1950s. As a child he was interested in comedy and the undersea realm, and was terrified by Bambi. In high school he had his own radio show, interviewing folk singers and puzzle inventors. At college he read Victorian and medieval English literature. He worked in radio, theatre, and the rare books trade before arriving in Scotland in the 1980s. After a spell at Granta, he has often worked as an editor and teacher. His novels include Fisher’s Hornpipe, McX: A Romance of the Dour, Who Sleeps with Katz, and The Five Simple Machines.