Gary Blackwood was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He sold his first story when he was nineteen. In 1998, he published The Shakespeare Stealer, a historical fiction novel about an orphan, Widge, who is sent to steal Hamlet from William Shakespeare and The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. After it won the 1999 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Blackwood published two sequels, Shakespeare’s Scribe (2000) and Shakespeare’s Spy (2003). Since then, he has continued writing historical fiction, such as Around the World in 100 Days (2010), which the Smithsonian named a 2010 Notable Book for Children and Kirkus Book Reviews one of 2010’s Best Books for Teens. In 2017, he branched out into adult fiction with a Victorian mystery, Bucket’s List, and followed it with a sequel, Bucket’s Brigade (2019).