David M. Cornish (born 1972) is a fantasy author and illustrator from Adelaide, South Australia. His first book is Foundling, the first part of the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy. The second book named Lamplighter was released in May 2008. The third in the series is named Factotum and was released in October 2010. He has stated that he plans to continue writing novels set in the Half-Continent and in March 2014, published a book of short stories titled Tales from the Half-Continent (Monster Blood Tattoo 3.5).
Cornish studied illustration at the University of South Australia, where in 1993 he began to compile a series of notebooks: over the next ten years he filled 23 journals with his pictures, definitions, ideas and histories of his world, the "Half-Continent".
It was not until 2003 that a chance encounter with a children's publisher gave him an opportunity to develop these ideas further. Learning of his journals, she urged him to write a story from his world. Cornish was sent away with the task of delivering 1,000 words the following week and each week thereafter. Abandoning all other paid work, he spent the next two years propped up with one small advance after another.