My name is R.H. Stevens, and I am the author, illustrator, and creator of all the content on this website.
I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and from a young age showed a certain predisposition towards storytelling. Being a somewhat peculiar child and lacking any siblings, it seemed natural to me to exist primarily inside of my own head, and my peers certainly found me a little strange! Once I grew older, I externalised, but I never lost touch with my storytelling instinct.
As a kid, I read voraciously and my selections were often precocious. Often, I would devour science-fiction media (K.A. Applegate's Animorphs was my absolute favourite growing up), but I was always disappointed with one thing. Generally speaking, aliens didn't often take the spotlight in these books or films, and if they did, they were more like props than people.
They were defined by, and in comparison with, the Humans. I found it all dreadfully dull. Why would I want to read about Human beings, when I was surrounded by them right here on Earth (which was also rather dull, in my estimation). An idea germinated in my head at the age of 11 – I would simply have to write the books I wanted to read myself, and they would contain everything I liked: rollicking adventures, exotic locations, and lovable characters with both humor and heart.
I attended Epsom Girls Grammar School as a teenager, picking up my eternal best friend and inspiration, Lisa Huang along the way. My understanding of the term 'professional creative' was elucidated by the outstanding faculty at the school, and the sturdy curriculum there. Following high-school, I received a scholarship to study a Diploma of 3d Animation at Media Design School, and following that, I completed a Bachelor's of Graphic Design and Animation at Unitec Institute of Technology.
By this time, the vague desire to do something regarding video games (an inclination I'd picked up as a teenager) had dissolved and I was back to wanting to be a novelist, general artist, and traveller. I'd also been volunteering with Lifeline New Zealand, an organisation which provides free counselling to those in crisis, and my experiences there (and the death of my beloved Grandmother) further cemented in my mind the fragility and impermanence of life.
I packed up my bags after my graduation ceremony and hauled myself over to China, where I worked as an English tutor for one year, and then as an in-house illustrator and designer in the next. I started a design company – Bubble Branding – and completed three novels. I then started planning my next venture overseas, and the next phase of the Z-Verse, starting with book 4: 'Not To Be Forgotten'.
My philosophy in life is to seek out a fresh experience every day, whether by making progress on a project, meeting a new person, or visiting a foreign location. Life is quite short, and getting shorter all the time. We have a limited time in this Universe, so we ought to make the most of it by being the best we can be, by living with dignity, and by allowing others to do the same. There's nothing in the world which matches the power and joy of friendship, and so I try to extend friendship to others whenever possible.