Monday, May 10, 2010

Ray Richards writes:

In May 2010 Bron Richards took a coffee break at Starbucks in Kirkland, just north of Seattle.  She lives at Beaux Arts, just south of Seattle.  Alone at a table she saw an elderly gentleman looking for a chair and she gestured to him to sit at her table.  Bron always talks to strangers so she said “ I’m Bron Richards”   He replied “I’m Tom Wright “ and noticing her accent added “and where do you come from Bron?”
“I’m from New Zealand but I have lived here for over 30 years”
“I know some New Zealanders well.  Would you be acquainted with Wendy Pye?”
“You must have been a publisher?  Yes, I know of Wendy Pye, but my father and mother know her better than I.  They are literary agents in Auckland.”
And so the conversation rolled along.  Joy Cowley was another close friend they had in common.  Bron recalled visiting the Wright Group’s publishing office in Bothell some years back and reminded Tom that Ray and Barbara were on their way to Bothell in August 1994 when Ray had his heart attack five hours short of LA and the family spent 40 days in LA for the surgery and convalescence.

Bron heard form Tom that he spends several hours each day in his retirement office, looking after his charitable foundation, with endows students of the University of Idaho with scholarship funding to gain new qualifications, 300 to date.
The Wright Group partnered Wendy Pye and Shortland Publications in publishing a thousand or so reading books in literacy series, all written and illustrated by New Zealand authors and illustrators.  Joy Cowley and June Melser led the charge.  Those books, many agented by Richards Literary Agency in Auckland, are still in print in the USA, published by McGraw-Hill, also Pearson, who took over the Dominie list, again largely written by New Zealanders.

Tom Wright asked Bron Richards to send his greetings to the hundred or so New Zealanders he published and whose books were so successful in US elementary schools that they enabled Tom to establish the Tom Wright Foundation.

Richards Literary Agency (RLA) founded 1977 Founding member New Zealand Association of Literary Agents PO Box 31-240, Milford, North Shore City 0741, NZ.  Tel/Fax: (09) 410 0209

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