Hi. It’s Rick. I’m the boss at RBWS Inc., a marketing communications and media/public relations firm I started in Toronto in 1995 with silent partners. In 1996, the partners were less silent and I beat back a boardroom coup and wrested control. Moved the head office to my basement in Newmarket (it’s a big basement), let the writers go and hired a new writer: me. I’m still the writer. And still the boss. And it’s been a roaring success ever since.
Here’s my story. A long time ago, I got an Honours BA from McGill. And then an MA at the University of Toronto. And I spent a lot of time thinking about Emily Dickinson and James Joyce and Alfred Tennyson and Joseph Conrad and Shelley & Shelley (both of them, the poet and the novelist, not the band) and read Beowulf in the original Old English and thought it was swell. Along the way, I passed PhD exams at U of T and published academic papers… and decided not to finish that doctoral dissertation on religious allegory in contemporary fiction because my fellowships ran out and a guy has to make a living.
Corporate gigs paid better than teaching so I became a company writer. After that, I was the communications guy (a step up) at a bunch of places. Sometime later, I started RBWS Inc. And got the job of writer back (but I already told you that). About a trillion and a half words later, I still think like a corporate writer but just one who also knows what iambic pentameter is.
Writing the words down on paper is at the core of everything we do at RBWS Inc. Way back when I wasn’t ghostwriting executive articles and columns for magazines, I was writing fiction. I’ve had short stories rejected by some of the best magazines in the world. But a few sneaked through and won awards. That’s another story.
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