This week we travel “down under” to Australia to catch up with multi-talented author Rita Chapman. Rita has an impressive resume. She is the author of the popular Anna Davies Mystery Series. Sit down, relax, and read about Rita’s humble beginnings and her advice to aspiring authors.
****Since conducting this interview, Rita has released the Missing at Sea.****
4-U-Nique Publishing: What made you want to become an author?
Rita Chapman: I’ve always loved to write. In primary school I wrote long essays but it wasn’t until I retired that I finally realized my dream to publish a book.
4UNP: What motivates you to write?
RC: The weather! I live in a hot, sunny place but when it rains, it rains. Then I turn to my writing. Once I’m about a quarter of a way into the book then the story itself motivates me.
4UNP: Can you describe your writing style for those who aren’t familiar with your work?
RC: Mystery, contemporary romance, crime. In terms of am I a planner or a pantser, then more the latter.
4UNP: Tell us about your book(s). How did you come up with the concept?
RC: I have published three books:
Missing in Egypt, a romantic travel mystery and Book #1 in the Anna Davies Mystery series. A holiday in Egypt inspired this book.
Winston – A Horse’s Tale is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards. The book I had to write.
Dangerous Associations is a crime mystery. Probably inspired by watching too many crime shows on TV.
4UNP: What do you think readers will get out of your book(s)?
RC: An enjoyable read, I hope. The Missing series includes vivid descriptions of locations which I think will appeal to those who enjoy travel. Winston – A Horse’s Tale has a few subtle messages. I think ignorance creates a lot of unintended cruelty when it comes to animals.
4UNP: What are your other goals and aspirations? Do you have another book in the works?
RC: I’m very motivated at the moment. I’m nearly ready to release Missing at Sea, which is the second book in the Missing series. I already have the idea for the next one in the series and I have a title for my next crime book (but no idea of the plot yet!). I’d also like to write a horse book for children.
4UNP: Can you tell us about your publishing process?
RC: Edit, edit, edit! You can’t read your book too many times and you can still overlook errors in your own work. (Other people’s errors, of course, jump out at you immediately). I was recently invited to join a local Book Club and I have asked them to be beta-readers for my latest book.
If you are self-published the next step is formatting and, believe it or not, that is more painful than editing. Which font is easiest to read? How much space do I want between the bottom of the page and the page number? For some reason the page lengths do not stay the same on CreateSpace’s template so you need to go in and jiggle – then the justified format comes up short on a few lines, the Contents drops its page numbers, there’s a blank page where there shouldn’t be one. It is so good when it’s all finished and you can go back to writing.
4UNP: Do you have any upcoming events or promotions?
RC: Nothing at the moment I’m busy editing my next book, Missing at Sea. Like most authors, I hate editing but once I’m ready to publish I’ll arrange some promotions and the details will be on my website www.ritaleechapman.com
4UNP: Where are people most likely to see your works at?
RC: Amazon and Smashwords, Libraries. Smashwords also make them available through Kobo, Apple, Itunes, etc. Then there’s my wonderful local bookshop, The River Read on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, which stocks all of my books.
4UNP: Do you have any advice for writers who want to become published authors?
RC: Just do it! Once you have written something it is much easier to edit, change, and re-write. Now that you can self publish with Amazon and CreateSpace there is no need for all your hard work to sit on the computer – you can send it out to the world yourself.
4UNP: What are your best tips for dealing with writer’s block and staying creative?
RC: I have two tips – one is to leave writing and do other things until inspiration arrives. The second is to make yourself write a page a day. Once you start you will probably write more and if it’s not going the way you want it to you can go back and rewrite.
4UNP: Before we wrap our interview. We like to have fun and ask our guests; If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?
RC: I would love to have been a showjumper or a singer. Much too old to be either now and unfortunately I didn’t have the voice to be a singer!
Many thanks Vid for the opportunity to be featured on your blog. It has been fun!
4UNP: Thank you Rita for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview.
You can keep up with Rita Lee Chapman and get all of her books here:
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.
Large Print Edition: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1507554915/
Missing in Egypt
Missing in Egypt will intrigue you with its twists and turns, romance and adventure as well as its insights into Australian and Egyptian cultures. Australian Anna Davies travels to Egypt with her lover to help him search for his brother, who disappeared whilst on holiday. The Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel and the Temple of Karnak are amongst the settings for their search. Will they be able to track him down and find him alive – or is Ramy already dead? What tragedies await Anna and Kareem as they come closer to retracing his footsteps? This fast-paced action plot will keep you guessing until the end.
LARGE PRINT EDITION: http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Egypt/dp/149121872X/
Winston – A Horse’s Tale
One for horse lovers from teenagers upwards! Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures. As you read his story, told by Winston himself, you will appreciate horse ownership from the horse’s point of view. Born on a country property in Australia, Winston tells of his breaking-in and education and the different people he encounters – good, bad and ignorant. As well as his own story, Winston includes the experiences of other horses he meets along life’s way.
Missing at Sea
Three years on from Egypt, Anna Davies embarks on her first cruise with best friend Sandra. A few days into the holiday they are woken by three blasts from the ship’s foghorn, indicating that someone has fallen overboard. A woman is lost at sea; the ship turns around to search for her, but she has disappeared into the night.
Was it suicide? Did she lose her balance and fall – or was there foul play involved? Did her husband push her? Would anyone be able to prove whether this was murder or an unfortunate accident?
What a perfect place to stage a murder!
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