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J.J. Richardson, Jeff Richardson, Jeffrey Richardson

J.J. Richardson  --

The first "chapter book" I ever read was The Peg-Legged Pirate of Sulu (Cora Cheney), recommended to me by my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Tibbs.  I didn’t know that a book with few pictures could create so many in my mind.  By the sixth grade, I read the novel Android at Arms (Andre Norton), also recommended to me by one of my teachers.  I think they were concerned about me.  Android at Arms set me firmly in the genre of Science Fiction.

I read Ray Bradbury books before I learned they were fantasy stories (Ray Bradbury claimed that Fahrenheit 451 was his only science fiction novel).

I learned at a young age to entertain myself because if I ever complained to my mother about being bored, she would give me extra chores.  After reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien), I decided the maps provided in those books were insufficient. I drew a map of Middle Earth on a piece of paper and annotated on it every event that took place in those stories.  The map was so crowded I had to find a larger piece of paper and create a bigger map.  This still wasn’t sufficient.  I taped multiple pages together and began again.  My mother finally took pity on me and purchased a large stiff sheet of poster board, which I filled with the largest version of Middle Earth ever.  My mother talks about those maps to this day.

Most of what we do in life is create.  We're either strengthening character, fostering relationships, raising capable and mature children, enriching talents and abilities, discovering solutions to trials and conflicts, or expanding careers and professional capabilities.  All of these are forms of creation: making something that wasn’t there before.

I became a mechanical engineer designing hydraulics for commercial and military aircraft, including unmanned bombers and fighters—which is a form of real-life science fiction.

I’ve always had vivid dreams (the sleeping kind).  I would tell my family and friends about them and they would say, “Your dreams are amazing.  You should write them down.”  After experiencing a particularly potent dream about two young sisters seeing the attack of their Old England village over 900 years ago by extraterrestrial-directed energy weapons (the girls knew nothing of such things), I put it on paper and entitled it, The Loud Lights.  Once I wrote one story, I knew I could write others.  I might as well put my bizarre mind to work.

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