Lee Richie was born and grew up in Liverpool England. After leaving school at just fourteen years of age, a teacher fired this parting shot: ‘You’ll never amount to anything, Lee; you’re a waste of life.’
Despite the cruel prediction, Lee went on to forge a successful international business career. ‘There were times I wanted to go back and show that teacher what I had achieved, but as time went on, I realised he had good cause. He saw a troublemaker going nowhere fast, and but for the angels in my life, I might well have lived up to his prophecy.’ One of those angels came along soon after leaving school. ‘I met Christine on the doorstep of the butchers where I worked; we were still fifteen. Everything changed after that. I was just eighteen when we married and we soon had a family; three sons to join us on our journey.’
Lee has had the good fortune to live and work in far-flung places; he says he feels privileged to have had the opportunities. Like so many travellers who hop the planet, he has come to think of himself as a global species, a nomad who calls home wherever he happens to hang his hat. ‘I’ve spent more time abroad now than in my native England, calling Canada home for ten years, before settling here in Australia in 1992. I’ve worked for Germans, French Canadians, worked with Italians, Spaniards, Dutch, Americans, and Chinese. I’m lucky to have friends of every colour and faith–real friends–in countries all around the world, eaten and slept in their homes in Japan, China, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, Switzerland and more. These cherished relationships and the experiences shared, provide a treasure trove of material for my writing, though it’s hard to capture a lifetime of adventures.’
Lee has retired from business, where marketing meetings and spreadsheets once drove the day’s priorities and is now writing full-time from his home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. Lee writes regularly for magazines and has a monthly blog on his website. He is the author of the historical novel, Black Bones, Red Earth. He is also the author of the Young Adult novel, Alexander Bottom & the Dreamweaver’s Daughter, which was well-received by readers worldwide.
‘Life was not always easy,’ says Lee. ‘There are plenty of difficult stories to tell, along with the good ones. There were hard lessons learned along with reaching heights I once thought would be impossible. I’ve been lucky; been poor yet felt so rich. I’ve been down but never beaten. I’m grateful for my life and my family, for the people I’ve met and the places I’ve seen along the way. A waste of life? Not mine; not a minute of it.’