Hi Rita, tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, Ty. Many thanks for having me on your blog. I was born in London but I have lived most of my life in Australia. When I’m not writing or reading I play tennis (not particularly well), swim, walk and socialize.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I always wanted to write a book but during my working life, my writing was limited to business letters, reports and letters to my family. I did start a novel a couple of times (on a typewriter) but I didn’t get very far. It was only when I retired to Queensland that I found the time to write "the book that everyone has in them."
Why do you write?
I enjoy it, obviously, but why do I enjoy it? I guess it’s the fun of bringing characters to life, watching them develop and, in some cases, killing them off!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I think every writer wants to write a best seller. I’m still trying but really I’m just very happy that I have managed to finish three books and have them published.
What has been the hardest part of building your career?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t call my writing a career. However, it’s a very satisfying hobby. The hardest part, I think most authors would agree, is the promotion and marketing side. It makes writing a book seem easy!
Which writers inspire you?
Oh, so many! I love Australian authors, Kate Morton and Bryce Courtenay, Indi authors Sarah Stuart and Rebecca Bryn. Then there is Wilbur Smith and Mary Higgins Clark, Fiona Walker, and the list goes on.
What have you written?
I have written three books:
Missing in Egypt, a romantic travel mystery.
Winston - A Horse’s Tale, for horse lovers from teenagers upwards.
Dangerous Associations, a crime mystery.
Where can we buy or see them?
Missing in Egypt
Winston – A Horse’s Tale
Large Print: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1507554915/
What genre are your books?
I think they could all be broadly classified as mysteries.
Why did you pick that/those genre(s)?
I enjoy a mystery as much as the next person.
What inspires your ideas?
A holiday in Egypt inspired my first book, Missing in Egypt. What better place to inspire a mystery?
Egypt is very different to any other country – nothing prepares you for the size and grandeur of the pyramids and the temples are awe-inspiring.
Are there any correlations between the books you write and your life experiences?
Winston – A Horse’s Tale is a combination of some of my experiences with horses, stories I have been told and a big dollop of imagination.
Missing in Egypt was inspired by a holiday in that country.
Do you work from an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
With my first book, I tried hard to plot and to visualize the ending, but I found it very difficult and spent many hours trying to work out what was going to happen. With Winston – A Horse’s Tale, I just sat down at the computer and let the story tell itself. I followed this method for Dangerous Associations, which mainly involved sitting in front of the computer.
Tell me about your most recent release.
An ex-husband, a new love, a stalker. Cathy Thompson’s link to her ex-husband fills her life with threats and intimidation. She must either trap her stalker or find Geoffrey to put an end to her life of fear.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Not in Dangerous Associations. In Winston – A Horse’s Tale I tried to help riders understand that maybe a new horse acts the way he does because of his previous experiences, not because he is being cantankerous.
Any new projects we should look out for?
I’d like to do a follow-on to Missing in Egypt but we shall see.
Do you think it’s hard to build and maintain a writing career? Why or why not?
Yes! Even a successful author is only as good as their last book and serious fans are always looking for the next one.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I would love to have been a showjumper or a singer.
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again!
Any advice for dealing with writer’s block?
Make yourself sit down and write one page, even if you later delete it. Usually, once you start to write something, something happens!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just do it! Now that you can self-publish there is no need for your work to be hidden on a computer. You can be sure of being able to see it in print and there is nothing like holding your own book in your hands. Another piece of advice – edit, edit, edit.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, that keeps you motivated?
My mother keeps sending me articles from the UK about best-selling authors who persevered.
Where can readers connect with you?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/ritaleechapman