I was born in Brixham in Devon in 1958. As a teenager, I left Devon and moved first to London and then to Maidstone in Kent. In 1975, after a spell working in a Safeway supermarket (remember them?) I went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

In 1988 I gave up the four to five-month trips and came ashore to spend more time with my family. I used my sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Dockmaster at Tilbury, Insurance Surveyor and Port Control Officer in both Sheerness and London.

In 1994 I was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 I transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where I regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as H.M.S. Belfast and through Tower Bridge.

In all, I piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority. I appeared on National Geographic’s “Megacities,” where I described the process of taking a sailing ship through Tower Bridge. Here’s the video.

I was offered part-time working in 2010, which allowed me to return to live in Brixham, where I took up writing and blogging. During this time, I also set up and ran a successful Organic bakery, supplying local shops and cafés with Sourdough and Spelt loaves. The urge to write eventually overtook the urge to bake but I still make bread for friends and family.

My writing journey is best described by a piece I wrote for a blog, entitled “I was never a Writer,” you can find it here.

I finally retired in 2015, by which time I had already self-published my first science-fiction novel Freefall. With more time on my hands, it was followed by Ribbonworld” in 2015.

September 2016 saw the publication of my Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol. and Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories.

I contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection, a series of “What if’s” surrounding the events of that momentous year and I’m currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects. The prequel to Freefall, entitled Myra, was published in March 2017.

Following a challenge, I’ve created a new character, a female amateur detective, sort of a cross between Agatha Raisin and Miss Marple, in Space! Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café is out now, with Andorra Pett on Mars following in April 2018.

As of 2023, I have published 19 novels, 3 books of short stories and a textbook, as well as appearing in several collections and anthologies.

I publish through my own imprint, 4Star Scifi, named in homage to my wife and daughters, my 4 Stars.

Richard Dee is my pen name.



You can find out a little more about me by clicking on the buttons.


9 Responses

  1. Joy Lennick

    Me, again, Richard. What an interesting life’s you’ve lead….Great that you can now take it easy and write. Four members of my father’s family worked on the Thames, including my Dad. he was a Lighter-man on the River and eschewed being a ‘captain’ because he had so many hobbies and it would have “interfered with them!” One brother was a tug captain, another was a ‘hand,’ and earlier on, my grand-father had some standing in the Samuel Williams company at Dagenham. He was a Freemason and quite a character…When I was small and Dad worked late, I used to worry when it was foggy and I heard the mournful hooter on his tug, as we didn’t live far from the river. Good to reminisce now and then…

  2. Lesley McConnell

    Hi Richard, you certainly have had a very full life.
    I was given you name by a dear friend of mine Rhonda Valentine Dixon who speaks very highly of your showcases. I have just looked up the page and there she is (August 8,2018).
    Like Rhonda i am an Indie author and after 25 years of procrastination finally gave my book ‘Black Tears’ life. Whilst it is a childrens book, which i hope will prevent the continuieng scurge of childe abuse and domestic violence, (to be used as a resource in schoole) it is very much written from personal experience as the black tears were those i cried when my ex husband was emotionally abusive. Sorry to rattle on but am a passionate advocate for children. I was hoping to being able to participate in your showcase please.

    • Richard Dee

      Hello Lesley, thanks for getting in touch, I’m very happy to feature you on the Showcase, I’ve sent you the standard email with all the details.

  3. Nicholas Lombardi

    Greetings Captain Dee

    I hope you don’t take offense, but you look a bit like the French actor Jean Reno in your photo.
    Good luck with your writing!

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you Pete, it’s been an adventure, that’s for sure. My life has influenced my writing in so many ways, it seems only right to acknowledge them where I can.

  4. joylene

    I agree with the others; what an interesting life. Bet you put much of your adventures into your novels. Best of success, Richard.