The author was born in May 1956 in the North of England to parents who taught him to value of hard work, education and perseverance. Despite suffering from dyslexia, his ambition was always to be a writer. In September 1975, he commenced a Degree in Applied Sociology and Social research and successfully graduated in November 1979.. Following some years in Business, Marketing and Local Government Administration he began a career in teaching adults in October 1987 before setting up in business as a Private Tutor in October 1990. In July 1998, he successfully completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, which qualified him to teach all Social Science Subjects and History. By then, he had also obtained Diplomas in Marketing (1988), Adult Further Education Teaching (1989), Management Studies (1990), and Theology (1997). His growing teaching work brought him into close contact with the Jewish, Asian, Chinese and Afro-Caribbean Communities. (He won't disclose which community provides the best cuisine!) In May 2007, he branched out into poetry with some poems eventually being accepted by two different publications. He has also performed at fringe events of two major literary festivals. Following much careful market research, he decided (in January 2010) to set-up business in self-publishing. In September 2012 he began a line of work in online tuition which still continues.
In November 2011 the author released through Amazon and Lulu Publications a volume of poetry and short stories entitled 'At 47 (Poems on 'This' or 'That) ' which is only available in printed form.Its ISBN's are 978-1-907910-06-7 (Soft-cover) and 978-907910-08-1 (Hard-cover). He's currently producing a family History.
His 'Advantage Study Skills' were first published in A4 sized booklet form in 2013. A soft cover version is currently available from Amazon and Lulu. (Advantage Study Skills, Richard Smith, ISBN: 978-1-90710-10-4). The latest kindle edition was released in August 2014 and to facilitate reader access has divided the original volume into twelve small booklets.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up and live in the North of England. It influenced my writing by encouraging a directness of style and a willingness to engage with difficult issues from an original standpoint. I've also inherited a tradition of challenging conventional wisdom and disliking any form of pretentious hypocrisy.
When did you first start writing?
When I was six and it was illegible!. However my first real creative burst of energy happened from the ages of 18 to 20. However, I didn't know what to do with my creativity and in March 1977 I threw my rather late teenage angst material away into a skip. (I don't think the world has lost much through me doing this.) Apart from some poetry and rather amateurish attempts at story telling whilst attending a creative writing class during the 1981-82 academic year, I really didn't get going until I was aged 47 in 2003. It was only then that I gained the confidence that I could actually do something with my writing and this led to the publication of 'At 47' in November 2011.