How a visit to Egypt sparked a writing career
This week, I chat to Aussie author Rita Lee Chapman, an English rose who grew new roots Down Under.
Describe yourself in three words, and then tell us about yourself.
Persevering, curious and, I like to think, kind.
I wrote my first book after I retired and am now writing my eighth. Born in the UK, I migrated to Australia in my early twenties, loving the heat and the laid-back lifestyle. When I’m not writing or reading, I enjoy playing tennis, walking and entertaining.
What inspired you to write, and how did you choose your genres?
A holiday in Egypt inspired my first book, Missing in Egypt. What better place to set a mystery? A country of mystique, history and pyramids. That lead on to the Anna Davies Mystery series. My other books are crime mysteries and a book for horse lovers.
Why would readers like your character Anna Davis?
Anna is determined to uncover the mystery before her, yet she's just an ordinary woman doing ordinary things.
In your travels, is there any country or place you were sad to leave and felt like you could easily stay there?
Possibly the South of France, because it is closer to my family in the UK. However Australia’s warmer climate and, until recently, relaxed way of living, are a stronger pull.
What fictional place would you like to visit,and why?
A place of peace, where there are no wars, where people are tolerant of other people’s beliefs and religions, and you can live life your own way.
If you could pick three authors to invite over for dinner, who would you choose and why?
Kate Morton, J.H. Fletcher and Jenny Ashcroft. I love these three authors and their ability to weave the most amazing stories, written in beautiful English.
Tell us about your writing process. How much research do you do and how long does it take you to write your story?
My writing is a hobby, so I only write when I feel like it. I publish a new book once a year, as a rule. We are so lucky in this day and age to have Google to do so much of our research. I have visited many of the places I write about and enjoy bringing that into my writing, but I also Google places I haven’t visited and facts relating to murders and deaths.
Social media marketing is constantly evolving. Which platform works best for you, and what is your best marketing tip?
Marketing is a nightmare! I really enjoy Goodreads; I have met so many fabulous authors on that website and also on some of the author pages on Facebook. I am also on Smashwords, which is great for authors because they pay quickly and well. I recently joined Instagram but I can’t see it working for me. One of the best marketing tips? Write another book!
As a writer, what was the biggest lesson you learnt during the Covid-19 pandemic?
I was lucky to have my writing to escape to during lockdowns.
What are you currently working on, and when can your fans expect it?
I’m writing the last book in the Anna Davies Mystery Series – Missing in Australia. I hope to publish it in early 2022.
Find out more about Rita through her website: http://www.ritaleechapman.com/
You can learn more about her books on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5834608.Rita_Lee_Chapman