Maurice Gee is an award-winning author and is one of the country’s best-known writers. His other works include Salt, Gool, The Fat Man, Orchard Street, Hostel Girl, In My Father’s Den, The Plumb Trilogy and The O Trilogy.
“Under the Mountain was my first book for children. It was published nearly 40 years ago. I had two young daughters with red hair and I wrote about red-headed twins for them. Although the story is a fantasy with invaders from outer space I wanted to set it in a place New Zealand children would recognise as their own – hence Auckland, and especially Rangitoto Island and the extinct volcanic cones that dot the city. The book has stayed in print ever since and has also been made into a TV serial and a big-screen movie. Now, it’s a play, wonderfully adapted by Pip Hall. I hope you’ll enjoy the adventures of the twins Rachel and Theo, and manage not to have nightmares about their shape-shifting enemies, the Wilberforces. Have a happy time.”