Adam M. Richardson was born September 6, 1983 in Nottingham, Great Britain. His father, Garry Spencer Richardson, was a fashion retail regional manager at the time and his mother, Carolyn Louise Agar Richardson (nee Berry), a jeweller. He has two brothers, Craig Spencer Richardson and Ryan Ashley Richardson.
At the age of 3 Richardson's family moved to Dogdyke in Lincolnshire as his father had retrained as a Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Inspector and was posted there. Shortly after this the family moved to the village of North Somercotes.
Richardson's earliest memory is of his father taking him to the North Somercotes Nursery, his father hanging up his coat on a wooden peg and leading him into a room full of toys and wooden doll houses. There were book corners with cushions thrown on the floor and children ran amok, squealing with joy. This was where Richardson first met Nanny Nutton - she was a dear old lady that used to bake the most fabulous current scones (allowing the cheekier children, Richardson being one of these, to sample the scone mixture before they were popped in the enormous oven).
Richardson attended North Somercotes Church of England Primary School. He enjoyed his lessons, particularly Art, and soon had a pleasant circle of friends. He leant to play chess and remains, to this day, proud to have been ranked 3rd in the entire school, sometimes besting the Headmaster himself.
It was here that he met Mr Blundell, a gentle teacher who always wore a tweed suit. Richardson would describe him as a perfect mix of Tolkien and Churchill - a bold man with profound knowledge.
Richardson spent his summers playing outdoors with his brothers, more so with his older brother, Craig. They were Lincolnshire boys - outdoors was where they lived and thrived - adventuring as much as they could. They would sneak onto farmer's fields and build dens from hay bales, break into derelict houses (convincing each other they were haunted), make their own bows and arrows (firing them into the field at the bottom of their garden) and whenever the opportunity arose climb the highest trees they could find.
Having an RSPCA Inspector for a father meant the house was always more like a zoo. Richardson remembers his mother hand washing around 200 seagulls in their bath that had been the victims of an oil spill. They had pet Owls (Troggsy being their first - an Eagle Owl), Foxes, Badgers, Hedgehogs, Dogs, Pythons as well as a Horse, Heron, Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon.
At the age of 6 Richardson's parents divorced and both remarried. Richardson's explanation of this is that two families basically swapped fathers - resulting in Richardson gaining a Step father (Keith Charles Stiff), Step Mother (Gillian Anne Stiff), Step Sister (Hannah Louise Stiff) and Step Brother (Andrew James Stiff).
Richardson's parents are, to this day, still the best of friends and he treats all siblings as "true", not step or blood, but equal.
Shortly after the divorces Richardson's father, along with his Step Mother and Step Sister and Brother emigrated to Kenya (East Africa) seeking their own adventures.
This left a great void in Richardson's life. His father had always been his role model. He had, from a young age, put his father on a pedestal but this void was, over time, filled by his Step Father Keith.
Keith raised Richardson and his brothers as his own. Being an excellent Biology teacher and an avid entomologist the house went from having British mammals and birds to having exotic insects, beetles, butterflies and moths. Each day was another great lesson with Keith. Time was not wasted on mundane activities. Being an excellent artist himself he encouraged the boys to practice their artwork and hone their skills. He would set up still-life drawing sessions in the kitchen, get the boys to draw what they saw and then constructively criticise their work. Richardson explains that this act led each of the boys to where they are in life now - each of them having an artistic job. Craig went on to study media and is now a 3D animator, Ryan is a CAD Technician (Draughtsman) and Richardson became a Graphic Designer.
In the summer of 1994 (just before Richardson's 11th birthday) Richardson, along with his Step Father, Mother and two brothers also emigrated to Kenya. Not that he knew it at the time, but the next two years, were to become the most incredible adventure Richardson would ever undertake. During this time he learnt to swim, body board, skim board and surf (when he could stay on the board). He swam with sharks (his only phobia) and eagle rays. He had three very close encounters with snakes (green mamba, king cobra and puff adder) and one extremely close encounter with a golden scorpion (it was in his pocket whilst he climbed a huge rock formation that took around an hour to scale).
As well as this he saw first-hand, the harsh realities of third-world countries. He saw children having to walk ten to twenty miles a day just to source clean drinking water which meant the child had to forfeit their education in order to simply live. Families suffering as their crops fell victim to drought. This culture shock was to have a lasting impact upon Richardson.
Richardson attended Mombasa Academy in Nyali with all his siblings. To add to this Keith, Carol and Gill were all teachers at the Academy. Richardson's Father now worked for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
Richardson made many friends, with whom he is still in contact with today - although they are now all scattered throughout the world.
At the age of 13 Richardson and his family were forced to abandon the African dream as they simply could not afford to live there anymore. This was not because of the cost of living in Africa but because his parents had not received the salary packages they were originally promised.
So the family returned to Lincolnshire, penniless, and were forced to live with friends in Louth (only 10 miles from their previous home in North Somercotes) for a year until the family's finances were strengthened. The family then moved back to North Somercotes. Richardson attended the John Birkbeck School where he was reunited with many of his closest friends.
After his SAT exams Richardson passed the entry exams for King Edward VI Grammar School (KEVIGS) in Louth where his artistic and writing skills improved.
Richardson spent his summers sat under Tennyson's tree, finishing his homework or having his lunch with his friends.
One of his fondest teachers at KEVIGS was Mrs Duggins, the art teacher. Richardson would spend up to 10 hours, sometimes working to the early hours of the morning, on his artwork. He favoured fine art, in particular, pencil work. He studied some of the great masters, including Picasso, Dali, and DaVinci.
Mrs Duggins had a keen eye, just the one, the other was glass. She seemed to enjoy calling Richardson to the front of the class (after most of his fellow classmates had praised him on yet another triumphant piece of art) after which she would scribble upon and erase his work. Initially this used to upset and annoy Richardson but it had a lasting effect on Richardson to strive for perfection - he would work on his art and work again, aiming to one day present a piece of work that the one-eyed art teacher wouldn't scribble on. Naturally, Richardson went on to present many pieces that went untouched and became an A* student.
Richardson's first job was as a Reprographic Assistant working for the local Council.
Over the years Richardson worked through the ranks becoming a Graphic Designer and finally the Departmental Team Leader.
He now works for a Lincolnshire based Home Care Company. And so his caring demeanour is kept busy in helping this company become a national provider of home care whilst his creative appetite is still satisfied with his writing and illustrations.
On July 27, 2007 Richardson married Stephanie Lowe on Diani beach in Kenya. Stephanie was led down the aisle with Masai tribal dancers and the newlyweds then travelled to Richardson's father's exclusive five star retreat (www.kutazam.com) in the Kwale District overlooking a stunning panoramic view of an elephant sanctuary. They spent the next 3 days on safari in the Tsavo East National Park.
A year on and something exceptional happened, and quite without warning. Richardson explains that in being promoted from a Graphic Designer to the Print and Design Team Leader his creativity wasn't being utilised. It was following this promotion that one night he had a dream. He was in a first-person perspective, moving through an old castle - his arms stretched out in front of him. He came to a great door, although the door looked more like a tree. He began to climb the door, higher and higher until his fingers groped at the lip of a large hollow. He pulled himself higher and poked his head inside to see a small creature with a lemon-shaped head, twitching in pain with an odd expression on its face. It was covered in strange purple lightning and just before he woke up a tiny spider crawled across the small creature.
Richardson woke and immediately sprang out of bed to hunt for a pen and a scrap of paper. From here a story exploded into life.
Orbs was born and as Richardson states: the story simply poured out of him.
Richardson's first child, a girl, Diani Sarah Richardson was born on December 2, 2010 in one of the harshest winters Britain had seen in decades. The weather was so bad the couple had spent the last few weeks of Stephanie's pregnancy at her mother's house (who lived in Grimsby, a few miles up the road from the nearest hospital).
Richardson recalls spending three hours digging the car out of the snow to allow them to drive to the hospital.
On August 16, 2013 Stephanie gave birth to their second child, a boy, Keyan Marcus Michael Richardson.
Richardson takes his storytelling gift from his father and his Gangan (Grandfather - on his father's side). He recalls the fabulous tales his Gangan would tell him and his brothers. Wild stories of wolves with red eyes and amazing creatures. The same Grandfather used to live in an old Manor House with an ancient forest to the rear. Richardson and his brothers were often presented with treasure hunts that his Grandfather had set throughout the forest. They followed trails of sweets through the trees and thicket, climbing trees and swinging from huge vines before finding a large heap of sweets at the trail's end.
Richardson continues to work like the rest of us but enjoys nothing more than visiting the worlds he has created to continue his writing and illustrating. He will never stop as this is something he enjoys. It's his passion, his higher purpose in life, his legacy.
He hopes that his efforts will not only tantalise the minds of young and old readers alike but also help children who are less fortunate. He contributes a percentage of all sales to UNICEF so that children less fortunate will lead healthier lives and be taught to read and write themselves. In his mind every child deserves a healthy life, a good education and to enjoy the magic of stories.
His message is simple: "Let's save the children, one page at a time."
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