ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Norman was born in Jersey Channel Islands, in June 1927 in a large Merchants house on the St Helier dockside.
Behind the house was one of his father’s warehouses, and where the horses were stabled. Horses were very much in use in those days; road sweepers and water carts ensured the prevailing smell of horse poo was kept under reasonable control!
Richard was educated at Victoria College Jersey 1936–1944. In July 1940 the German forces swept through France and occupied the Channel Islands, the only part of the British Isles to be conquered by Germany. Because of his father’s commitment to all his staff, the family stayed in occupied Jersey for the next five years.
Richard left college early and worked on a farm, to avoid being ‘press-ganged’ into the construction of German fortifications—most of the ‘slave workers’ having been killed off by then, a mere 12,000 men and a few women! In 1944 the Germans needed more labour to complete their fortifications in Alderney which is a smaller sister Island, which is even closer to France.
After the Islands were liberated in 1945, at the age of seventeen, Richard spent some time in England as a farm student and returned to Jersey and eventually became a farmer, later specialising in intensive flower and tomato growing under glass.
He then established a plastics factory to develop and produce new inventions, mainly in the horticultural field. (It was at this time that he gained a pilots licence and was able to use his own plane to help expand the business.) That was a great time in his life attending various plastic exhibitions around England and Holland.
Richard came to Australia on holiday in 1985; it was love at first sight. He decided to retire and settle in Australia.
He spent the next two years applying for a visa; He sold his farm and Plastic business in Jersey and came out to Australia as a retiree in 1987.
Then followed the best twenty four years of his life. This is the lucky country. Let’s hope we always keep it this way!!
Richard soon realised that retirement was not for him and became involved in marketing hydroponics and environmentally kind sprays and fertilisers in NSW but found growers were not yet ready for some of these products.
Then after spending nine interesting years working in real estate in Canberra and NSW, he moved to the Gold Coast where he developed and patented an attachment for small boats. (This turned out to be an expensive failure!)
Finally, to pay for all his past sins, he decided to write and hopefully publish books and short stories.
Richard first wrote and self-published the novel, A Killer at Large—the story of a sixteen year old boy in German occupied Jersey in 1943 who suddenly finds his life completely changed when he is first assaulted, then arrested and shipped across to France, where he manages to escape and join up with the underground resistance.
That precedes and sets the scene for Escape to Death; following the journey of Marcel as a teenager, through to the young man coping with the vicissitudes and horrors of war.
The tale is finally concluded in the sequel of the trilogy, ‘Once Upon a Bridge’ (Uma Vez numa Ponte) which he hopes will be coming out soon. (Title subject to change)! It is possible now that the three stories will be published in a single book.
Additionally, Richard has contributed three very different short stories about the random moments when we mortals lose control of time, to the anthology, A Leap in Time. This is a literary work published by the Carindale Writers Group Queensland.
The anthology writers are all Queenslanders and the stories include fiction, non-fiction and poetry.