Ruth Manley was born in Barcaldine, Queensland in 1919. She wanted to write from an early age, and her adult short stories were published in Australian magazines in the 1950s. Her love of Japanese mythology burgeoned when she studied Japanese language and literature at the University of Queensland as a mature student, in her forties, under the brilliant tutelage of Professor Joyce Ackroyd, and she graduated with high distinctions. Her first book, The Plum-Rain Scroll, published in 1978, was chosen as Children’s Book of the Year by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, to be followed by The Dragon Stone, shortlisted by the CBC, and The Peony Lantern. She died in 1986.