William Gordon Stables was born in Aberchirder, in Banffshire (now part of Aberdeenshire). After studying medicine at the University of Aberdeen, he served as a surgeon in the Royal Navy. He came ashore in 1875, and settled in Twyford, Berkshire, in England.
He wrote over 130 books. The bulk of his large output is boys' adventure fiction, often with a nautical or historical setting. He also wrote books on health, fitness and medical subjects, and the keeping of cats and dogs. He was a copious contributor of articles and stories to the Boy's Own Paper.