Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Rita Chapman, or as she’s known in the writing world, Rita Lee Chapman. She added the “Lee” to her professional name so her books aren’t confused with another Rita Chapman who writes vampire stories. Rita’s first book, Missing in Egypt, is set in Australia and Egypt is a romantic travel mystery.
Welcome to Author Wednesday, Rita. I’m always interested in how fellow writers view their subject matter. I was intrigued when I heard Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Has this ever happened to you?
My second book, Winston – A Horse’s Tale, was the story I had to write. I have had a lifelong love of horses and wanted to write from the horse’s perspective, to try to help people understand what it is like when different owners have a different way of going about things, use different riding skills, or expect different things from the horse.
What message were you trying to convey through Winston?
I wanted riders to see things from the horse’s point of view, to try and look at why he does certain things which often stem from something that happened in his past.
What are you working on now?
My next book is a crime thriller, but I am only about four chapters in to it. I have had to put it aside for the moment to promote Winston – A Horse’s Tale.
Promoting is one of those necessary evils as are reviews. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?
This one, written about Missing in Egypt, I think says it all for me. “Good plot, good characters and well written. I look forward to her next book.”
That’s about the best that can be said about any of our novels. Bad reviews are also a part of the job, so what advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?
Think about what has been said. Do the comments have any relevance? If they do, take them on board. If it is someone who is obviously jealous or nasty, quickly dismiss it.
Excellent advice. What’s your one sentence pitch for Winston?
One for horse lovers, from teenagers upwards.
How did you choose the title?
Actually, Winston started off as a grey called Monty. When I came to do the cover the photo of a grey horse I had in mind didn’t come up as well as I had hoped so I looked at the other photos I had, and he became a palomino called Winston!
What is the best thing someone could say about this book?
They enjoyed it!
If you could invite two other authors over to your house for dinner, who would you choose and why.
Kate Morton and the late Bryce Courtenay, both wonderful Australian authors.
Is there one book or author with whom you identify or hold up as your standard-bearer?
I have only just discovered Brisbane-based author, Kate Morton. I read her first book Shifting Fog and just love her style of writing and the wonderful characters she created.
What do you do when you’re not promoting or writing?
I enjoy music, reading, playing tennis, walking and swimming. I live in a wonderful part of Queensland where I have the choice of walking by a river, a lake, or along the beach.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Rita. I plan on giving Winston as a gift to several of my horsey friends.
Links to books and social media sites
Missing in Egypt:
There is also a Large Print Edition at:
Rita Lee Chapman website: http://www.ritaleechapman.com