Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stephen Mark Richards: Author and Adventurer

You're just a click away from a world full of adventure.
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Scroll to the end of this article to view a brief biography including links to some of Richards contributions to science.

True-life Travel Adventures written by Stephen Mark Richards Explore the United States from a unique perspective as you are taken on a journey of excitement and adventure. Experience American cultures and natural treasures as never before on a roller-coaster trip from sadness and fear to joy and wonder. By the time you reach the end you will be eager to do it all again but this time you will surely be the traveller yourself.

Titles in this series:
Conquering America | Tornado Spring | Wild Summer | Desert Winter | America through the Heart

Click Amazon USA to visit the author profile for Stephen Mark Richards where you can LOOK-INSIDE and read free previews.
British readers should click Amazon UK.

Books available in paperback and ebook:
Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble Nook

Scroll down on this page for a breif synopsis of each book.

Conquering America
This book was prompted by the successful completion of an epic journey around America and the publication of three books: Tornado Spring; Wild Summer and Desert Winter which document the author’s adventures. Conquering America brings together these three books to present, for the first time, the entire adventure in a single volume. In the original books, Tornado Spring was written day-by-day, sometimes using the present tense to highlight the emotional ride experienced on such an adventure, whilst Wild Summer and Desert Winter were written retrospectively, providing a fascinating contrast of styles. Inspiration was found in both urban and natural settings, through encounters with people, animals and environments. This created interactions that were at times exciting and interesting, and at others sad, joyous or downright terrifying. Throughout, the author relates events to the political world and his intimate past. He provides fascinating insights from the view of a stranger who discovers an America which is often at odds with its image. His open-minded approach sheds light on a culture and a country of which every American should feel proud.

Tornado Spring
The average number of tornados in the USA for the month of April is normally around 135 but in April 2011 there were over 600. It was the worst month for tornados in United States records. On April 27th there were over 190 tornados recorded, the most ever in a single day. The tornado outbreak of April 2011 killed over 350 people, 65 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27th alone. This was the deadliest tornado outbreak in over 85 years. It was at the beginning of April 2011 that we embarked on our journey with the aim of driving a motorhome around the USA. We planned to complete the tour in three stages the first of which would take us from Florida in the south up the eastern side of America to the Canadian border. We were not to know that we would be travelling the full height of the United States during the worst tornado outbreak on record. This is the true story of that journey.

Wild Summer
Of course adventure is for the rich and famous but it is also for ordinary people too. Anniversaries or even a New Year resolution will suffice to focus the mind and help to make things happen. Any year is a good year for an adventure and any excuse is a good excuse too. All we need is the inspiration, the determination and the desire. This book tells the story of the second stage of our around North America journey. On this journey, the second of three stages, we travelled from Chicago to San Francisco, visiting the Yellowstone super-volcano and encountering bears, elk, moose and whales along the way. We travelled west through the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean up through Canada's Cascade Mountains and then south, through the giant coastal redwood forests, to San Francisco. Wild Summer tells the trials and tribulations of that voyage.

Desert Winter
Experience the smiles, laughter, excitement, sadness and fear in this keenly observed true story of exploration and adventure. Richards puts himself at the centre of events and then interprets them based upon his interesting and varied life history. The honesty of his personal accounts provides powerful insights into culture, people and relationships whilst his ability to describe places, events, emotions and memories seamlessly transports the reader between the past and present on amazing journeys with breath-taking pace. Desert Winter takes us on an adventure of a life-time, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, traversing the southern United States. The journey leads us through mountains, giant redwood forests, and deserts to large cities, natural wonders, national treasures and even alien encounters. It carries us to the edge of the precipice, within swiping distance of bears claws and striking range of a rattlesnakes fangs. Wandering streets from urban wonders to urban dereliction we gain insights into American culture from the perspective of an outsider. Vicariously revel in the adventure or grasp the encouragement to travel - the choice yours.

America through the Heart (not yet released)
When we had bought the Van, eighteen months earlier, our original intention had been to use it to experience Yellowstone but already we had done so much more. We had travelled up the eastern side of North America’s contiguous 48 states, across the north to Seattle, down the west to California and then across the southern states back to Florida. It was now our intention to travel to the heart, straight through the centre of the North American sub-continent at the height of summer and we were expecting to be baked alive.

Books available in paperback and ebook:
Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble Nook

Dr Stephen Mark Richards: Adventurer, Scientist and Author
Born: Middlesbrough, UK 19th January 1961
Degrees: BA Psychology (first class with honours), MSc Informatics, PhD Human-Machine Interaction
Professional qualifications: PGC-Education, Chartered Psychologist
Scientist and Academic Author (select links for abstracts)
Dr Richards was a pioneer of electronic book research and was developing multimedia electronic books as early as the late 1980’s. By 1991, he had created the first of his electronic books (a book for early learners) which was piloted in schools 16 years before the Kindle was launched in 2007. In the scientific papers written by Dr Richards (some collaborative) he identified key design principles as early as 1991 [1]. Dr Richards completed his Doctorate in 1994, titled ‘End-user Interfaces for Electronic Books’. Some of his contributions to the scientific literature include: [1] Page structures for electronic books, [2] Human-computer interface design for electronic books, [3] The use of metaphors in iconic interface design, and [4] Knowledge sharing through electronic course delivery. He has presented this research throughout Britain, Europe and the USA. Dr Richards also worked in his capacity as a psychologist in research into HIV/AIDS and co-authored a scientific paper in [5] AIDS Patient Care.
Adventurer and Author
Whilst still a teenager Stephen travelled independently throughout Europe and from his early 20's he broadened his travels to include Africa, Asia and America. In search of adventure, Stephen also extended his modes of transport to include canal boats, yachts, motorcycles and motorhomes. Throughout, he has specialised in seeking out adventures that are accessible to a wide range of people and always tries to include experiences that do not require exceptional physical prowess, stamina or bravery. His books are inspirational, bringing adventure to a wide audience, encouraging some to undertake adventures while allowing others to experience them from the comfort of their own homes.Books by Stephen Mark Richards include: Tornado Spring, Wild Summer, Desert Winter, Conquering America, America through the Heart
Quotes from Stephen Mark Richards

"We are sometimes too busy experiencing to record and too busy recording to experience"

"Post-processing allows me to both keep and share my memories"