Teen novel “a nice change, no vampires”

That’s what a small group of 14 year old English students had to say recently about my young adult novel The Bird With The Broken Wing.

I've always wanted to be a writer, and an international one at that, still I never expected an American publisher would be the one to accept my debut novel. I submitted novels to every Australian publisher, and I’ve been rejected by every Australian publisher. But which writer hasn’t been rejected? Most of the responses were similar – publishers were looking for something unique. Well, I believe I've penned a unique novel in The Bird With The Broken Wing.
I attribute much of my success to my childhood. I grew up in the late 70’s in the western suburbs of Sydney. We didn’t have all the gadgets kids today have. We played air guitar and pretend games. We used to drive our mum nuts by dragging all her sheets out into the yard and fashioning houses out of the sheets and the washing line. We’d drag all the food out of the pantry and then set up shop to sell the food back to her. My imagination definitely got a workout.
My two young adult novels The Bird With The Broken Wing and Feedback are widely available through online retailers and at select bookstores. The Bird With The Broken Wing is a novel that has some of the tone of my childhood. It is a work of fiction but the rawness and honesty is something that comes from growing up in a raw and honest area. And no vampires.
How much of a part did school play in my success? Looking back, I can see that English played a huge part. Without a love of English, you can’t write novels. I had great English teachers. They did everything in their power to keep the kids engaged. The Outsiders by S E Hinton was the book that kick started my love of reading.

Two novels released and a third nearing completion for submission to US publisher Etopia Press, I have a busy year ahead of me although I can't forget that 2012 was a great year. I had two novels published, I conducted two radio interviews, but it looks like 2013 is my year for connecting with my audience. In late January I held a book launch in a local book store in Batemans Bay. In February I’m speaking to Year 11 and Year 12 English students. And in April I’m conducting a workshop at the 51st Conflux science fiction convention in Canberra.
And all because I don't write about vampires. (Not that there's anything wrong with them).

D L Richardson


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