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Richard Sparks

One morning in 1979 I got a call from an understandably excited Rowan Atkinson.

“John Cleese just called. He’s asked me to be in his new charity show – and can I do The Schoolmaster?”

Er, yes.

I’d written The Schoolmaster for Rowan the previous year, for a revue at the Hampstead Theatre (Rowan with Elspeth Walker and Peter Wilson). John and his co-producer, Martin Lewis, had seen it; and a year later, Rowan and I were backstage at Her Majesty’s Theatre, meeting John and other members of the cast of The Secret Policeman’s Ball.

Rowan went on stage an unknown, with his gown and clipboard and pen, and came off a star. The Schoolmaster became his signature piece, the encore of his live shows. Eventually, he got tired of doing the same old routine and wrote another (ruder) version, generously giving me half the royalties.

By that time, I’d cut my teeth on various TV shows, from HTV (Wales) to ITV (Southern and Central) to the BBC. I’d also written some stage shows (reviews, original plays, and adaptations of Goldoni comedies), and done a lot of freelance script editing. In 1992, I was hired by Columbia Picture Television to work with Blake Hunter and Marty Cohan, the creators of Who’s the Boss?. My wife and I moved with our young daughter to her parents (converted) garage and we’ve lived in Los Angeles since.

I’ve written a number of libretti for operas, almost all for the LA Opera – some original pieces, some translations from German or Italian. My writing partner, the composer, Lee Holdridge, was – in a way – once G.R.R. Martin’s ‘writing partner’ in that he composed the scores for the TV series Beauty and the Beast, for which Martin was a script writer.

I’d been a hard-core RPG gamer for years when the idea for these books just fell out of the sky one morning, and I started writing. I have hardly had a moment to log on to any game — I’m too busy exploring the New Rock stories as they unfold.

My publisher, Caezik SF & Fantasy, is a company of enthusiasts who love these genres. I am delighted to join their family of authors, and to be working with their executive editor, Lezli, Robyn.

Three sequels – New Rock New Realm, New Rock New Rules, and New Rock New Roads, have been completed and will be published in due course. I’m currently working on the fifth book.

Updates will be posted on the blog.