So this being the inaugural post in my new blog, I suppose it’s only proper to make this the traditional Who I Am post. For you newbies out there, I’m Marcus Richardson, and I write post apocalyptic fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction. If you’ve been to my website you know that’s not my real name, but that’s a minor detail.
I’m a father of three — stay at home dad for the win — husband, house commander, and writer. We live on a secluded lot in greater Chicagoland, just south of the Cheddar Curtain (no, I do NOT like the Packers…why do you ask?). I have two writing companions — I mean dogs — a cheeky 7 year old viszla and a spastastic 1 year old Weimeranner. Did I mention my kids range from 7 - 13 years old? Yeah, the lockdowns were faaaaaaan-tastic, and I am an avowed glutton for punishment.
I was born in Delaware and trained as a lawyer, but never atually took the leap into legal practice because I was suckered in by the siren song of the sweetest of careers: big box retail management. I’m not kidding, y’all — if you want want a rewarding, fulfilling career that at the end of the day you can say you really made a difference, check out retail.
I’m also pretty sarcastic at times.
I started writing…well…like a lot of authors, I guess I’ve always been writing. My mom has notebooks full of stories I wrote in elementary school, and the writing hasn’t stopped. But I wrote my first real novel in high school and college, then published it through a vanity press (all there was at the time) when I started law school.
That book was called Earth Defiant. Don’t bother looking for it, I pulled it off the shelves years ago. There’s probably some used copies out there somewhere, but I really can’t recommend it. The story was good (I thought) and it got a couple reviews at the time (all positive, I’m proud to say and not all of them from my family!) but…yeah. It needed to marinate for a few years until I actually knew what I was doing. Note: I’m actually reworking this story and it will appear as a new series in the Wildfire Saga…but it’s still a ways off.
When Amazon introduced Kindle Direct Publishing, I jumped all over it and was there at the tail end of the glory days of self-publishing. I jumped in around 2011, when the first wave of authors who’d gotten started in 2008-2009 were at the peak of their success. Mrs. Richardson was busy having kids and I was busy raising them, so I got a later start than most.
That first unmentionable book was pure sci-fi and the next book I wrote (the first real book you can find in my current catalog) was Alea Jacta Est, about as post-apocalyptic as they come. I didn’t have any designs on being a PA author, but that seems to be where my fanbase was, so I’ve stuck with it, and it’s been a helluva ride!
Just before I escaped — I mean left — my career in retail, I started writing AJE a chapter at a time in our little apartment in Florida, where I totally pulled a newbie author *faux pas* and included my own home and neighbors in the novel…in detail. I was just fooling around back then, learning what to do…and what not to do…when writing for an audience other than myself. I posted my scribblings on a preparedness forum popular with thrifty squirrels and they ate it up. Those of you who were around in those days know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, I had enough people asking for the next chapter, and the next, and then the next that I finally decided to put it all together into a file they could download and read — and stop bothering me about it. That’s when someone had the great idea to point me toward
Amazon. With delusions of grandeur, I marched off to get my account.
I published AJE for Kindle, saw how fairly easy it was, and promptly started work on the sequel (Sic Semper Tyrannis, which you can conveniently buy from my brand new webstore!). And the rest, as they say, is history. Enough people asked for a sequel to SST that I felt obliged to keep the story going. In all, the Future History of America series totals around 1800 pages. But I wanted more than just that story.
That’s when the Wildfire Saga first popped into my head as I read an artcile about advanced, controversial influenza research and the ideas just started spinning off in my mind faster than I could record them. It helped that the article was about events taking place in my own backyard (we were living in Wisconsin at the time). I’ll get into the inspiration for these stories and more in a future post.
For today, I just wanted to set the bar (albeit it fairly low) and get this blog off to a start. If not a good start, I can at least say it is a start.
So there you have it — my story in a nutshell. Hopefully I haven’t scared you off and I’ll get to share some more pearls of wisdom from the Freehold.
Until next time, remember that we live in interesting times. Keep your heads down and your powder dry, my friends.