After a career as a teacher
and principal of mainly small rural schools, Ross Richdale lives in the
small university city of Palmerston North in the North Island of New
Zealand where he writes contemporary novels and sagas full time, while
his wife, Kay, carries the burden of teaching children at a local
primary (elementary) school. He is married with three children.
Ross has always had an
interest in the written word and has been a constant reader of current
events magazines and newspapers. As a youngster, he used to grab his
elder sister's magazines that came from England and read about boarding
schools with secret tunnels and mysterious headmistresses who
invariably went missing and were replaced by a draconian assistant. He
preferred these stories to those in the boys' magazines of the time
that were mainly about sports or war. As a teenager, he'd slip into the
local library and read overseas newspapers to pick up exotic stories or
study the advertisements or television programs of far away cities. He
preferred articles where his mind was pulled to distant places and
adventures. Later, he wrote stories to stimulate the children he taught
in his classes and ideas were expanded into full-length stories that
disappeared into dusty files. He found writing fiction for children was
not stimulating enough so he switched to writing adult novels and that
continues to the present time.
In his suburban home, Ross
pounds away on an ancient Macintosh to form the plots for his novels.
After his wife and daughter go off to work every morning, he shares his
workspace with a black and white cat, who demands to be fed at least
six times a day, and a goldfish called Survivor.
When he is not writing, Ross
enjoys drawing, usually on the computer. Other interests include
wandering in the countryside and, in the summer, swimming in mountain
streams or bounding through the rapids in a large inner tube tire.
His interest in current
events and international incidents serve as a backdrop for many of his
novels. Ordinary people rather than the super rich super powerful or
violent, are the main characters in his stories. Often a tiny article
read is expanded into a full sized novel after research and the use of
his vivid imagination. His plots also reflect his interest in the rural
lifestyle as well as the cross section of personalities encountered
during his years as a teacher.