Maria de Jong has been writing biographies and helping others to write their memoirs for 12 years. She also tutors Memoir Writing Classes in Auckland. Her business, Life Stories, offers writing, editing, book design and printing services. She is passionate about preserving stories for future generations, and has a special interest in New Zealand and Pacific Island history. Maria has a Diploma in Journalism from the Auckland University of Technology and worked for the New Zealand Herald. She co-authored the award-winning art book, Fred Graham Creator of Forms – Te Tohunga Auaha. Maria has four grown-up children and in between writing she enjoys walking her border collie in Cornwall Park.