Richard Webster's books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and have sold more than ten million copies around the world. It all began with a small newspaper that Richard wrote and distributed around his neighbourhood when he was nine years old. When he was ten, Richard's parents invited Ronald Syme, a well-known children's author, for dinner. Ronald Syme was gently discouraging on the prospects of a writing career, but by the end of the evening Richard was determined to become a writer.
When he left school, Richard went into publishing, working for William Collins' for seven years. This provided a good foundation for Richard's later career, as he worked in the editorial, book production and sales departments. He then owned a bookshop for a year, before moving on to a variety of small businesses, including a book importing business.
Although his first book was published in 1972, Richard's writing career really began in the early 1980s when he started reading palms in shopping malls. It was illegal to charge for palm readings in New Zealand at that time. To get around this problem, Richard wrote a 32-page booklet to sell. Everyone who bought one received a free reading. However, about a month later, Richard's customers returned, wanting another booklet.
After writing more than thirty of these, Richard realised he couldn't put off what he was meant to do any longer. He became a fulltime writer, specializing in ghost writing. Over the years, Richard ghosted twenty-one books for other people. When one of these books sold more than 80,000 copies, Richard realised it was time to start writing more books under his own name.
The first of these was a book on ghost writing (Secrets of Ghost Writing) which was published by Breese Books Limited, London, in 1987. It is still in print. Richard wrote two more books for this publisher, and then found a new home with Llewellyn Books in the United States . Since 1994 they have published 41 of his books.
Richard has also worked as a magician, stage hypnotist and hypnotherapist, and has written books on all of these subjects. Brookfield Press published 29 of his books on magic, as well as a book for hypnotherapists on how to conduct past life regressions. Flora and Company in the United States published his video course, "The Richard Webster Hypnotism Show", the first instructional video on how to become a stage hypnotist.
Richard Webster launched "The Richard Webster Popular Fiction Award" in 2000, to help encourage New Zealand writers to write popular books for an international market. Richard provides a $5,000 prize for the winning entry each year.
Richard is married with three children and five grandchildren. His great, great aunt (Louisa Ann Meredith) was a well-known author in the late nineteenth century, and his grandfather and mother were also writers. Richard's three children are also interested in pursuing writing careers.
Richard has appeared on numerous TV programmes, Including HARD COPY in July 1998 (seen by 20,000,000 people) and 20:20 in November, 2004. According to NEW IDEA magazine (28th April 2001), Richard is "probably New Zealand's most successful author."