Hullo! I’m Dr Christopher Richardson from Sydney, Australia.
I’m the author of fantasy novel Empire of the Waves (Penguin) and six non-fiction picture books from Scholastic. I am also an academic with a background in literature and security studies. In 2016 I graduated with a PhD from the University of Sydney. My thesis investigated the childhood policies and practices of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea. My research has been featured in Sino-NK, The Guardian, The Washington Post, El Pais, the BBC World Service, BBC News Magazine, ABC Radio National, ABC Weekend Breakfast, 3AW, SBS Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, UPI, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Radio Free Asia, Voice of America Korean, the Daily Mail, Izvestia, Triple J, Observador (Lisbon) and Vice. I also have a particular interest in the history of Christianity in northern Korea.
I have guest lectured undergraduate and postgraduate IR and security studies classes at the Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and Bond University. In 2013, I co-directed Voices in Exile: Panoptic Perspectives in Sydney and Canberra, a film festival investigating North Korean human rights and culture. On this site you’ll find some of my work, as well as suggestions of other places to visit, if you are interested in further exploring the politics and culture of the DPRK.
In July 2015, Penguin published my debut novel Empire of the Waves: Voyage of the Moon Child to wonderful reviews. Junior Books + Publishing described the book as “beautifully written, action packed and engaging.” Here you will find my thoughts about writing and publishing, as well as news and updates about the world of Empire of the Waves and other writing projects. Since the publication of Empire of the Waves I have spoken frequently at schools, libraries, and literary festivals about my writing, and am available to book through The Children’s Bookshop Speaker’s Agency . I also offer private literature and writing classes for high school students. In October 2020 I commenced a Master of Teaching at the University of New England so I might contribute further to writing education in Australia, whilst also deepening my research into North Korean educational practices and refugee education outside NK.
What else can I tell you about me? At school my favourite subjects were English, Ancient History, Drama, and Latin. Without a doubt, Latin had the deepest impact on my intellectual development and I am a lifelong disciple of Roderick West. Since leaving high school in 2000 I have completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English Literature and a Master of International Security (with Merit), both at the University of Sydney. For my Honours thesis I researched the poetry of Edward Lear, and I write children’s verse of my own. You can read or listen to them free on this site!
I am the author of six non-fiction picture books in the X‑Zone series from Scholastic. These include: Pirates, Special Effects, The Beat Goes On, So You Want To Be An Astronaut?, Sun Struck and You Ate That! With the X‑Zone series I fulfilled the ambition of a lifetime and interviewed a NASA astronaut!
I am an avid reader, so am steeped in the world of books and literature, and can’t wait to share my own stories with you. I am currently working on a new instalment in the adventures of Anni Tidechild and Duck Knifetooth, tentatively titled Empire of the Waves: Sea of Fire. Other works-in-progress include a dystopian sci-fi thriller set in a divided future Australia, entitled Occupation Zone, and a novel about North Korean childhood called Children of the Sun.
On this site you will find a sometimes odd concoction of interests and influences, but they all coalesce in my mind to make some semblance of unity. But then again, perhaps unity is overrated…