William Gray

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Everyone needs a lucky break in this business and I had mine

following a stint of volunteer work on the Great Barrier Reef.

Knowing nothing about publishing I had this grandiose idea for

a book about coral reefs and pitched it to a few publishers in the UK. One of them, David & Charles, called my bluff and commissioned me to write and illustrate Coral Reefs & Islands – The Natural History of a Threatened Paradise.


I was thrilled when my first book was highly commended in the Conservation Book Prize. Maintaining a focus on wildlife conservation and responsible travel, I started widening the net, writing for national newspapers and magazines and selling my photographs through picture libraries. One or two guidebook commissions came my way and I started giving slide talks on cruise ships and around the UK.


It was all about building up contacts, slowly but surely. Then we had twins and family travel, well, just sort of happened! I began to break that cardinal rule of business: ‘Never work with children or animals.’

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7 Wonders

Interview with

William Gray