Richard W Hardwick is a writer, writing tutor and publisher.
Richard’s first book, the novel Kicked Out, was published by Beautiful Books in 2009, becoming Waterstone’s Recommended Read and Borders Book of the Month. The following is a quote from Patricia J Delois, author of ‘Bufflehead Sisters’ – British Arts Council and YouWriteOn.com Book of the Year in 2007.
“The narrative is so strong, the characters and dialogue so real, the situation so heart breaking. This is masterful and should win several literary prizes”
The second book? Not quite what he expected …
When Richard’s partner Anna was diagnosed with breast cancer he wrote everything down because it was the only way he could cope. Then the results of her operation came through and they were the worst possible. And so he wrote about their past adventures in Israel, Amsterdam and Greece too – because he was afraid she wouldn’t be alive to help him remember it for their young children.
But when Richard wove the two threads into a book he was advised by the publishing industry to turn it into a novel instead. And so he set up his own publishing company, Lapwing Books, instead. When ‘Andalucía’ was finished, he sent a copy to one of his literary heroes, multi-million selling novelist Pat Barker. And to his relief, the former Booker Prize winner loved it…
“Told with courage, humour and love, Andalucía weaves past and present with great skill so the pace of the narrative never falters. There is a zest for life on every page of this book which I found both moving and inspiring”
Pat Barker, winner of the Booker Prize
Janette Jenkins, author of ‘Little Bones’ and ‘Angel of Brooklyn’ had the following to say about ‘Andalucia’…
“This absolutely captivated me. I couldn’t put it down. One of the best books I’ve read…breath-taking”
Richard taught creative writing at HMP Frankland for over eight years and was editor of their prison magazine ‘Behind Bars’. Previously, he had been Writer in Residence at HMP Durham and has facilitated numerous creative projects with imprisoned males, females and young offenders. In January 2012 he edited, designed and published the award winning hardback book, ‘Shattered Images and Building Bridges – a Collection of Writing and Artwork from three Durham Prisons.’ You can find out about this through www.lapwingbooks.com
In 2013, Richard was writer in residence for Durham University and the Return of the Lindisfarne Gospels , working alongside internationally acclaimed photographer Paul Alexander Knox. As part of this residency they followed an historical journey across the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, creating a website, book and a celebrated exhibition. Writing and photography from this can be found at stcuthbertsfinaljourney.com
In June 2017. Richard’s next book was published, again by Lapwing Books. Having resigned from working inside prisons, he was able to travel around the country interviewing recently released prisoners, professionals and family members of those inside, without the fear of being sacked. The Truth About Prison instantly received rave reviews, with acclaimed writer and Guardian journalist Erwin James stating it was “different to any other book on prison, compelling and quite breath-taking in its scope of insights, giving a voice to the only people that really know.”
You can check other fantastic reviews, buy the book and read the first three chapters for free, on the books’s website by clicking here.
Richard, who lives just north of Newcastle with his wife, two children and a greyhound called Jack, is currently writing a novel, and though he is keeping the content secret at the moment, he believes this book will be the most mainstream of all his books and help him achieve even greater success and recognition.