My guest today is Rita Chapman, an Australian writer whose work includes several mysteries and an unusual horse novel. Welcome, Rita.
Tell us a little about you and the place where you live.
I was born in London and moved to Australia in my early twenties. I spent my working life in Sydney, the most beautiful city in the world and moved to Queensland when we retired, for the warmer weather. We live on the Sunshine Coast, a popular tourist destination and enjoy walking on the beaches and around our pretty river and lakes.
When did you begin to write and what got you started?
I didn’t finish my first book until I retired. I had often started when I was working (mostly on a typewriter) but never found the time to actually finish. Some my earlier writing I used in my first couple of books. In Queensland we often go weeks without rain and then it can pour for two or three days. It was during this first downpour that I sat down to write.
You've written in several genres. Do you have a favorite?
Horses have always been my passion, so Winston – A Horse’s Tale is my favourite book and genre.
You're second book, Winston-A Horse's Tale, is written (uniquely) from the horse's perspective and first-person viewpoint. Your latest, Dangerous Associations, is also first-person. Is this your favorite viewpoint?
Are your stories plot or character-driven?
My books are plot based. I usually have an idea of the main story before I start.
Pantser or outliner?
I’d love to be an outliner. Normally I’m pretty organized but I can’t seem to plot out my chapters and characters. I find it easiest to just sit down at the computer and let the story evolve.
What are you working on now? Care to give us a peek?
I’m working on a “Missing” series, following on from my first book Missing in Egypt. This one is called Missing at Sea and follows Anna on a cruise some years later, where a woman goes overboard.
What are the biggest misconceptions people have about writers?
That they make money!
What do you like to read? Any favorite authors?
My reading tastes are quite varied. I love Australian authors Kate Morton and Bryce Courtenay as well as Wilbur Smith, crimes, mysteries, autobiographies and of course anything to do with horses. My favourite indie authors are Rebecca Bryn and Sarah Stuart, who formed Worldwide Authors, to which I belong.
Do you have any advice you'd like to share for other writers?
For a would-be writer, just do it. Now that you can self-publish your work doesn’t have to stay hidden in your computer. Until you try you don’t know what you can achieve. For other writers, I think we all know we have to edit, edit, edit!
We all know the importance of marketing today. What are some of the methods you prefer for introducing yourself to the reading community?
I’m not too keen on the marketing side. I have a website, www.ritaleechapman.com, where I interview a different author each week. I’m lucky enough to have a local bookshop stock all three of my books and I like to distribute bookmarks featuring my work.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
I play tennis at a wonderful social club close to home, swim, walk and of course read. We also love to travel and have just returned from a month driving in the USA and Canada, seeing Yellowstone National Park and The Rockies. I even saw a couple of bears!
Missing in Egypt
LARGE PRINT EDITION: http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Egypt/dp/149121872X/
Large Print Edition: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1507554915/