N.A.M. Welch was born and raised in a cattle-ranching setting in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He trained as a teacher and worked as a journalist, but returned to farm life and grew tea in the Eastern region of the country. In the evenings he studied yacht design and building construction. However, he and his family were displaced from their home by political events and he spent some years with the Army, when he started writing again, including some poetry. When peace returned to the country he worked as a yacht designer/builder and building contractor. Then political events again brought major changes to the country and he moved with his family to New Zealand. He worked again in the building industry, until he retired and returned to writing.
Illustrations in the first four novels are by Graham Radue; illustrations in Smugglers Sunk! are by Janine Greaves. The cover paintings for all the books are by Lucy Welch.