After Struggling With Bullying and ADD, Young Writer Finds Respect as a Novelist

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After years of ceaseless bullying and fighting against Attention Deficit Disorder, Zachery Richardson has overcome his challenges to find validation and respect through his career as an author.

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When I tell my peers I've written a book they think it's really cool. It's a very nice change of pace.

While most 21-year-olds celebrate being mature enough to party legally, Oregonian Zachery Richardson is reveling in the release of his debut novel, Chronicles of the Apocalypse: Revenge, Everything is Nothing. Richardson, who was constantly bullied throughout his life at school because of his lack of athleticism and eclectic interests, now finds a sense of vindication in his chosen career. “When I tell my peers I’ve written a book they think it’s really cool. It’s a very nice change of pace.”

Chronicles of the Apocalypse: Revenge, Everything is Nothing tells the tale of the Black Dragon clan of assassins and its attempt to open a portal between Earth and Hell in a deadly plot for global domination. Main character and master assassin Jin Sakai is tasked with thwarting their plot, pitting him against the very clan that he helped found. The same one that is also responsible for the murder of his wife and children.

While anger and revenge fuel Jin on his quest, they also threaten to devour him alive. Fiery and protective love interest Leah Lawson is Jin’s only hope for saving the small bit of humanity he has left. Can Leah get through to him before it’s too late? Will Jin be able rise above the grief and darkness of his past?

Chronicles of the Apocalypse was partly inspired by the author’s own personal demons. “Because of the bullying I endured, I had serious anger management problems in middle and high school that I had to work through. Like Jin’s past, my anger threatened to consume me. The message I wanted to send with this novel is to never let yourself be consumed by whatever negativity is going on in your life, because if you do, it could very well wind up destroying you.”

The author’s struggle with attention deficit disorder (ADD) also contributed this. “Because of my ADD, I would hyper focus on things that interested me, like writing, but couldn’t focus on things that bored me, like my schoolwork. That led to a lot of fights over my grades that only exacerbated the anger issues I had because of the bullying.”

Richardson has wanted to be an author since before high school and, in fact, wrote his first novel at age 14. Following high school he attended the Art Institute of Portland for a term, “because I wanted to learn the skills to turn my book into a movie. Unfortunately, my ADD made it impossible for me to write and go to college at the same time. I had to choose which was more important to me, which I was more passionate about, and I chose my writing career.”

The Chronicles of the Apocalypse author is a huge film buff having been raised watching Disney films like The Lion King. His more recent favorites are Avatar, The Dark Knight, and Inception. While he enjoys American films, the characters and demons in his novel have more in common with Japanese anime and manga (Japanese comics) than American movies.

Though many of his peers are still in college or settling on a career, Richardson doesn’t feel out of sync with others his age. “A career as an author is something I’ve wanted for a long time. Recently I visited my old high school with a copy of my novel to show one of my teachers what I’d really been working on instead of my homework. Like my main character, it helped me let go of my past.”

Zachery Richardson
503-929-7555 (cell)

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