Richard Blackburn was brought up in England on the site of an ancient castle in West Derby, Lancashire — well, actually, on the site of the midden outside the battlements. So you could say he was raised on an old rubbish tip. West Derby was also old, having been important when the nearby city of Liverpool was just a couple of fisherman’s huts on the River Mersey. The village had a court house built in the time of Elizabeth the First and stocks originally put there to enforce the Laborers’ Statute of 1351 to punish anyone asking for increased wages after the plague. So history was all around in Richard’s youth.
Richard immigrated to Australia on his own at the age of twenty. He worked at first as a bookkeeper on a cattle station nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, to the north of the Simpson Dessert, then moved to Darwin and worked as an internal auditor in the Health Department, travelling extensively around the Northern Territory. It was here he took up parachuting.
Finding the ‘Top End’ lacking in challenge, he moved on to Papua New Guinea where he worked for thirteen years as a Patrol Officer and raising to the position of District Officer. This involved being a police officer, magistrate, and senior Australian Government representative in his area. During this time Richard traveled extensively in Europe.
Since returning to Australia, Richard has gained an Associate Diploma in Management, an Advanced Diploma in Administration, and a degree in Information Technology, and has worked for a number of Government Departments. He has completed two TAFE short courses in creative writing to make sure his creativity was not crushed completely by many years of writing in the public service. His interests outside work are now restricted to his family and scuba diving. He had to give up parachuting and long-distance running due to a back injury and now has to be content to leave the real excitement to characters in his stories.
Richard has been a best-selling author three years on the run for his Australian publishers, Zeus, and his three books are all listed for approved reading in the New South Wales Premier’s Reading Challenge for high schools. The books have since been revised and published by Lachesis Publishing, in Canada under their new titles: Dawn of the Sentinel, Return of the Sentinel, and Rise of the Gatekeeper.