Author's Profile - Richard Shears

 Hardly a day has gone by over the decades without Richard tapping away at a keyboard either as a newspaper correspondent or as an author. If he stopped, he says, he would be lost, travelling through an exciting world with no direction.

As a prize-winning journalist, first in London and now based in Australia, he has worked in many of the world’s hot spots (and sometimes some cold ones), including Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor. As an author he has written more than 20 books, many of them about crime, and he has a number of fascinating projects in the pipeline.

His books have been published around the world in numerous languages including Hebrew, Polish, German and Icelandic.

Richard’s background as a journalist has resulted in his books being the first to be published on a variety of news-orientated topics, including the famous case of baby Azaria Chamberlain, who vanished in the Australian desert amid claims a dingo had taken her; the sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior by French secret agents; serial killer Ivan Milat, who murdered young backpackers; the vanishing of British tourist Peter Falconio in central Australia; and the incredible death of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, stabbed in the heart by a stingray.

Richard has also won recognition as a photojournalist. He has staged two sponsored exhibitions and his work has been published in magazines around the world.

A war baby, Richard was born in Devon, England, and started work in journalism on his local newspaper at the age of 15 after he won a nation-wide essay competition. ‘My first job,’ he recalls, ‘was filling up paste-pots and fetching sandwiches for the sub-editors. Then in the second week, without any training, I was sent off to cover a complicated weights-and-measures court case in which a coal delivery man was accused of short-changing his customers. Interesting how you remember your first disaster - my story was ripped up by a senior reporter who then guided me on how it should have been written.’

After that baptism of fire, Richard worked for several years in Devon before moving on to the Birmingham Post and Mail – and then it was off to what was then London’s Fleet Street. He remained there for 10 years, including a stint as a deputy foreign editor on the now-defunct Daily Sketch and working for two years in New York for the Daily Mail, before heading to Australia in the mid-1970s ‘for a look’, driving an old van along the Asian hippy trail. He has been in Australia ever since.

Richard lives in Sydney with his wife and inspiration Isobelle Gidley and the occasional animal which drops in. But that’s another story, although all will be revealed in time…