H oward Rydor is the pen name of Howard Gaukrodger. Howard was brought up in the south of England, where he attended Reading Grammar School. It was here, he first dipped his toe into a puddle of childhood success when he was awarded the John Kendrick Prize for writing. He then went on to specialise in foreign languages at the University of Loughborough, majoring in French, German and Economics. Howard’s involvement in languages promoted his already-keen interest in overseas adventure, and by the age of 25, he had travelled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa and parts of South America.
In 1985, Howard established a translation and language consultancy business in Norway, where he lived for nearly 16 years, learning another new language and assimilating the customs and culture of his adoptive country.
A tour of New Zealand then fostered a love for the antipodes and triggered the desire to emigrate once more. It also provided a wealth of material for a humorous travel novel that was published in 2005. This is expected to be released as a new edition by 2018.
New Zealand became Howard’s permanent home in 2003. As a lecturer in English and an interpreter-trainer at universities and polytechnics in Auckland and Nelson, NZ, Howard developed his involvement in the use of computer-assisted language-learning and completed a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Waikato in 2012.
His interest in writing continued with studies in poetry and fiction in 2014, and 2017 sees his first novel in the field of fiction for young adults.
Howard’s immersion in diverse cultures and languages provides inspiration for his writing, while observation of human and animal behaviour feeds his ideas for characters and events we can all relate to.
Maluk, the star of Lufianblid: Global Dawning, has circumnavigated the world twice, popping out of Howard’s travel bags on planes and buses, and making children happy wherever he goes.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
Now, as he participates in his son’s education and development, Howard sees the differences of child and adult perceptions of world events. While adults engage in warmongering and political debate, children enjoy blissful naivety. Adults discuss global events, such as climate change, and take many years to reach agreement, while children see only immediacy and act accordingly. It is this difference in human behaviour that lies at the heart of Lufianblid: Global Dawning. It is the animals of Lufianblid that take the decisions that humans can’t, or won’t.