Bill was born and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a quiet little street. He admits to being a shy kid, a quality that has carried over into his adulthood. With his two brothers and the neighborhood children, Bill would play hide and seek, red rover and tag. They got into the usual sorts of mischief: garden raids and snowball fights.

Bill has always taken comfort in reading. As a child his tastes were very diverse, ranging from the adventures of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, the Happy Hollisters, and the Enid Blyton books to comics featuring Archie, Richie Rich, Little Lulu, Casper, Batman and Superman. The Alice in Wonderland books were favorites, and he still loves them today.

Bill’s parents also influenced his reading habits at a young age. His mother introduced him to a six-volume set called Our Bookhouse, an anthology of readings from many different sources; and Bill’s father would share his favorite poetry with the family. And Bill took to reading poetry as well: A Child’s Garden of Verses and the A.A. Milne poems. He claims that he didn’t start to read with anything like purpose or intensity until he reached adolescence. Many of the classic children’s books, such as The Wind in the Willows and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he came to as an adult.

In 1976, Bill received his B.A. from the University of Winnipeg. He went on to pursue a Master of Library Sciences at UBC, graduating in 1980. In 1998, Bill was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Winnipeg. For six years he worked as a children’s librarian.

Bill is well known in Canada as a CBC Radio host. He’s also made many freelance contributions to both network and regional shows. In 1992, Bill began hosting a summer show called Crosswords, which would continue for four years. He next became the guest host of a classical music request show, and when the show moved to Vancouver in 1996, he was chosen as the show’s permanent host; it became known as As You Like It, to reflect Bill’s interest in the music and letters of his audience. In 1997, Bill became the host of a new program, Richardson’s Roundup. The Roundup is very interactive with its listening audience.

Bill has always dabbled at writing. Even as a child he had a vivid presentiment that this is what he would do. His columns have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Western Living Magazine, The Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight, and Xtra West Magazine. Bill won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 1994.

In 2000, Bill published his first novel for young adults. After Hamelin tells the tale of Penelope, the only child to escape the lure of the infamous Pied Piper. Now grown to the ripe age of 101, the feisty Penelope recounts her fantastic adventure to rescue the other children of her village from the clutches of the nasty Piper. Bill’s wonderful story has gone on to earn more than a dozen awards and nominations.

Bill makes frequent public appearances reading poetry, narrating musical works, giving keynote speeches and signing books. As time slips away, Bill hopes to use as much of it as he can catch. He believes that “if you’re going to write, you damage yourself if you don't pay attention to the ideas that come your way and try to make something of them. It’s a kind of responsibility, which isn’t to say that you’ll write well, but you still need to make the effort.”