Author Spotlight with Zachery Richardson

Zachery Richardson


Zachery Richardson, casually Zach, was born in Seattle WA on August 8th, 1989, and was raised in Lake Oswego, OR. It is perhaps the greatest irony of all that his chosen career is that of an author when as a child, his second least favorite subject in school was writing. Math was number one, and their relationship remains strained to this day.

However, the switch was flipped in middle school when his teacher assigned a creative writing project. Having finally been given a productive outlet for his wildly active imagination, Zach dove headfirst into the world of author-dom and never looked back. By his freshman year of high school, he'd completed his first "book"; a 300 page fanfiction set in the Mobile Suit Gundam universe. Afterwards, he turned his attention to a series of wholly original works that would become Chronicles of the Apocalypse in the subsequent year.

While Chronicles of the Apocalypse (or COTA as he likes to call it) remains his central focus, Zach has also begun work on several other projects in the Young Adult and High Fantasy genres.

He currently lives in Wilsonville, OR.

So, let's get to the interview now, shall we?


K.S.  Hello Zachery, and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.

Z.R. Well, I'm 22 years old, and have been writing since sixth grade. I've been working on my Chronicles of the Apocalypse series for over six years now, starting in my Sophomore year of high school. Outside of my writing, I am a shameless movie whore and video game addict. I can watch and enjoy almost every kind of movie out there. From Disney to 80's slashers, and from Titanic to Dances With Wolves. On the gaming front, I have been fighting a relapse with World of Warcraft and thus far, it's a fight that I'm winning. Besides that, I do most of my gaming on the Xbox 360.

K.S.  Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?

Z.R. When I finished the first draft of my novel almost six years ago, I printed out two copies. One to send to the US Copyright Office because I was legitimately paranoid about it getting stolen, and one just to have. Then disaster struck. My computer completely died on me, and as a result, I lost everything I'd ever written up until that point. Included my entire first novel, seven chapters of the next one, and a 300 page fanfiction I'd written the previous year. Needless to say, I was pretty depressed for a while and truly learned my lesson about backing up my files. Those two printed copies are long gone now, lost to the winds. Or some dark, dusty, deserted corner of a closet that I can't remember. Oh, and amusing side note, that copyright application got rejected because I forgot to send a check for the application fee.

K.S.  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?

Z.R. I've always had an over-active imagination. In fact, one of my first tricks as a child to beating monsters was to make them my friends. After all, your friends won't kill you. But what set me on the path to writing was my sixth grade teacher. He gave us a creative writing assignment once and I just ran with it. Up until that point, I'd hated writing almost as much as I still hate doing math. But when I realized that I would use my imagination to write, that was game over for me. I knew from then on that there was nothing else I could do but pursue my life as an author.

K.S.  What genre do you write?

Z.R. I write fantasy, mostly as a combination of urban fantasy and young adult. As a matter of fact, I only have one project I'm working on that's pure high fantasy, and that one won't be finished for a while.  For me, there's something special about working within the framework of a world we all know, and then blending fantasy with it. It's a combination that I love to read, which is probably why I enjoy writing it so much.

K.S.  What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?

Z.R. In middle school, I was told that the key to living a happy life was "Find something you love doing, and then find someone who'll pay you to do it" and I really took that to heart. And when I figured out that the thing I loved doing was writing, I pursued that with a literally single-minded determination.

K.S.  What does your family think of your writing?

Z.R. By and large, they've been wonderfully supportive. My decision to drop out of college to pursue this career ruffled a few feathers, but when they saw how passionate and how dedicated I was, they stopped needling me about going back to school.

K.S.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?

Z.R. How much the story can change during the writing process. Even though I've always known the major beats that the story would hit, how they ultimately get to those beats changed almost constantly. And some ideas that died in one form wound up reincarnated in another. It's a stupendously organic, and sometimes almost magical, process. I'm also deeply surprised that I'm using such bright, fluffy language to describe the writing process of a book series about the Apocalypse.

K.S.  What inspired you to write your novel?

Z.R. Well, my ideas came from a variety of sources: movies, video games, Japanese anime and manga. What really got me off my butt to write it though was the ending of the film, Secret Window. The twist at the end of that movie made me literally jump up out of my seat and the second the credits started rolling, I plopped myself in front of my computer and started typing. It was only a sentence later that I realized that I didn't yet have the ability to execute my initial idea. So I tweaked it a little bit and then wrote the first four chapters inside of a week.

K.S.  Can you tell us a little about your novel?

Z.R. When you sacrifice the lives of your wife and children to prevent the world's most powerful clan of assassins from unleashing the Apocalypse, what does that make you? And what do you do when you learn that it was all in vain? For Jin Sakai, that sacrifice turned him into a mere shell of a man, filled only with guilt and hatred. When he learns that it was a sacrifice made in vain, he instantly sets out on a violent one-man war to tear the assassins' clan down around their ears. After all, who better to destroy them than the man who brought them together?

Things soon turn down a darker path as Jin uncovers the disturbing truth behind his family's sacrifice; a truth he was never meant to learn. Undone by the revelation, Jin is consumed by doubt and confusion and very nearly loses his life. It is only later when he meets Leah Lawson, a woman with a past almost as dark as his own, that his doubt and confusion vanish and he begins to see a path that will not only lead him to his revenge, but to his redemption.

Unfortunately, there is far more going on behind the scenes than Jin realizes. Forces are at play that have been manipulating the course of his life ever since he was born. By setting out on his quest for vengeance, Jin unknowingly cements his destiny as one of the key warriors in the apocalyptic war that’s brewing just beneath the surface.

K.S.  Where can we find your novel?

Z.R. My novel can be found at Lulu.com here: http://tinyurl.com/cota-rein. I had to shorten the url because the actual one is like 50 characters long. But I just tested it, and it does take you to the correct location. I am also selling signed copies through my website.

K.S.  Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?

Z.R. Sure do. My website is www.theauthorphoenix.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at RisingPhoenix89, and even on YouTube on the channel DemonWithAHumanHeart.

K.S.  Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?

Z.R. Don't ever give up. You will face rejection in the publishing world. A lot of it. But always remember, even Harry Potter got rejected.




When you sacrifice the lives of your wife and children to prevent the world's most powerful clan of assassins from unleashing the Apocalypse, what does that make you? And what do you do when you learn that it was all in vain? For Jin Sakai, that sacrifice turned him into a mere shell of a man, filled only with guilt and hatred. When he learns that it was a sacrifice made in vain, he instantly sets out on a violent one-man war to tear the assassins' clan down around their ears. After all, who better to destroy them than the man who brought them together?

Things soon turn down a darker path as Jin uncovers the disturbing truth behind his family's sacrifice; a truth he was never meant to learn. Undone by the revelation, Jin is consumed by doubt and confusion and very nearly loses his life. It is only later when he meets Leah Lawson, a woman with a past almost as dark as his own, that his doubt and confusion vanish and he begins to see a path that will not only lead him to his revenge, but to his redemption.

Unfortunately, there is far more going on behind the scenes than Jin realizes. Forces are at play that have been manipulating the course of his life ever since he was born. By setting out on his quest for vengeance, Jin unknowingly cements his destiny as one of the key warriors in the apocalyptic war that’s brewing just beneath the surface.

Purchase links: Here  (Lulu)
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 20th, 2009




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