Richard Stephenson is from Beaumont, TX. He is the author of COLLAPSE, a dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel, set fifteen years in the future. COLLAPSE tells the story of the downfall of America. “No zombies, no alien invasion, no nuclear holocaust, no pandemic that wipes out 98% of the population (I am a sucker for all of those, by the way). I wanted to do something different, something a little more grounded in reality. The collapse of society does not have to happen overnight, it can be gradual, a collection of events that reaching a breaking point. That's the story that I wrote: the breaking point. One catastrophic event like a nuclear war or a killer asteroid makes for great story-telling, but the reader can find comfort in the fact that such events aren't likely to happen. I hope that COLLAPSE can grip the reader and hit them close to home. I want them to finish the novel and think ‘Wow, that story could really happen!’” July 6th is the release date, but there is a sneak peak of the first seven chapters here: is the first book in a four part series entitled NEW AMERICA.

Stephenson lets the experiences of his own life inspire him. He has been in law enforcement for fifteen years and currently works in Southeast Texas, very close to the Gulf of Mexico. One of the downsides to his profession is that he cannot evacuate when a hurricane comes to town. “In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit our region and, like always, I had to evacuate my wife and children to safety and return. The storm hit us in the middle of the night. When the sun came up, we spent the next twelve or so hours in a complete and total communications blackout. No cell phones, landlines, internet, cable TV, broadcast TV, not even radio stations on the dial. I remember thinking that aliens could have landed on the White House lawn and we would have been none the wiser. I then imagined what the entire country would be like thrown into the same chaos. It terrified me to think how fragile our civilization can be and it has ever since.”

Stephenson was told at the age of thirteen that he has a genius IQ. He graduated high school a year early and went on to do the same thing in college. He says his mind has always flown a dozen different directions at the same time. He has struggled with the “racecar in my mind and writing is the best way to pump the brakes.”

The very excellent Laura Wright LaRoche, www.llpix.comdesigned Stephenson’s cover to his book.

Stephenson’s greatest challenge in writing is editing. “I'm in such a hurry to get the words on the page that when I slow down and take the time to read it, it's a mess.” His favorite author is Lee Child, whose writing, according to Stephenson, “is so intelligent and gets inside your head. His lead character, Jack Reacher, is such a fascinating character. It also doesn't hurt that the character is an ex-Military Policeman like myself.” Stephenson is also impressed by “pretty much every indie author that has ever made it on the NY Times Best Seller list.” He is greatly influenced by Stephen King, Vince Flynn, Lee Child, and, Dan Brown. “I've learned from all of them that you can't take your time telling a story. You have to get to the point! Readers have better things to do than to read a book that drags on and on.”

Look for Richard Stephenson promoting his book COLLAPSE on Twitter and other social media, and for COLLAPSE’S July 6th release date!

**Note from BZHercules:  I am looking forward to this one and hope that Richard considers posting COLLAPSE for sale on this site!