Interview with Rita Lee Chapman

Published 2017-05-07.
When did you first start writing?
I didn't publish my first book until I retired, although I had made a few attempts over the years, with a typewriter.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After doing the rounds of publishers and receiving only rejections, I saw an article about self-publishing on Amazon. Later I learned about Smashwords. Thanks to Smashwords, Kindle and CreateSpace I was able to move my book from the computer to the public.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When the plot finally falls in to place and I know where it's going!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords enables readers who have e-readers other than Kindle to obtain my e-book. It is easy to use and pays good royalties. I would recommend Smashwords to any indie author.
What do your fans mean to you?
Having fans is an amazing experience. You can't really believe that someone is actually following your writing! It gives you confidence and belief in yourself.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, so many! Kate Morton, Bryce Courtenay, Fiona Walker, Jeffrey Archer, Colleen McCullough and Elizabeth Elgin. I also love biographies and, of course, stories about horses. In addition, I have read quite a few indie authors - such as Sarah Stuart and Karen Hulene Bartell whose writing I really enjoy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live in sunny Queensland in Australia so most of my time is spent outdoors. My husband and I play tennis, swim and enjoy walking on the beach and along the river. I also spend quite a lot of time with friends, eating, drinking and having fiery discussions.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly through other Goodreads authors. There are also quite a number of authors around the area where I live and I try to catch up with what they are writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was for my little brother who wasn't eating very well at the time. I used to spoon feed him and tell him stories and I wrote a story about him in an exercise book.
What is your writing process?
Ah, well. With Missing in Egypt I agonised over what I was going to write for my first book. Then I stuck with the "write about what you know" and it evolved from there. With Winston - A Horse's Tale I just sat down at the computer and the words flowed. It was the book I always wanted to write and was based on many of my experiences with horses and stories I had been told. With Dangerous Associations I wanted to reach a broader audience. When I am having writer's block I make myself write at least a page a day and then I find the story almost writes itself.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in London but it was my holiday in Egypt which inspired my first book, Missing in Egypt. What a magical place - even today they are discovering new tombs and treasures. It seemed the perfect place to stage a mystery.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Thorn Birds - it moved me more than any books I have read.
Tongue in Cheek by Fiona Walker - something really different.
The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay. He is such a fabulous story teller and the impact of some of the violence in the story stayed with me.
From Strength to Strength by Sara Henderson. She is an inspiration and tells of a life in the outback few can imagine.
Mama Tina by Christine Noble. Mama Tina has achieved so much to help the underprivileged children in Vietnam with absolutely nothing in the way of money, just her determination to help.
Do you have a website where readers can catch-up with you?
Yes, it's and I have a Guest Author page with a different author featured each week.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Chicken Little. I walked around watching the sky for a while.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Missing at Sea, Book 2 in the Anna Davies Mystery series is set on a cruise ship. When someone falls overboard Anna realises how easy it would be for someone to commit a murder - who would know if it was murder, suicide or an unfortunate accident?
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on Book 3 of the Anna Davies Mystery series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life! Plus a few aches and pains that say it's time to get everything moving again.
How do you approach cover design?
I have used CreateSpace's cover design for all of my books - it's quite user friendly and allows you to use your own photos.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries, thrillers, romances, auto-biographies and I love anything about horses.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

The Anna Davies Mystery Series
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 192,520. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Three mysteries in one! Missing in Egypt, Missing at Sea and Missing in London. Three stand-alone books set on far-flung continents, the only link being Anna herself.
The Poinciana Tree
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,640. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
A tale of raw emotion, desperation and acceptance set around the beautiful Poinciana Tree.
Missing in London
Series: Anna Davies Mystery. Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 74,720. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.00 from 1 review)
Book #3 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series Anna Davies is working in London as a Senior Editor. Her best-selling author, Arthur Hambledon, has just finished his latest book which he says “will raise some eyebrows.” Then Arthur disappears, along with the manuscript. Anna is determined to find out what has happened to him.
Missing at Sea
Series: Anna Davies Mystery. Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 67,930. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Three years on from Egypt, Anna Davies embarks on her first cruise with best friend Sandra. 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?
Dangerous Associations
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 61,030. Language: Australian English. Published: November 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
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.
Winston - A Horse's Tale
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 69,690. Language: Australian English. Published: October 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
One for horse lovers! Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures. Told by Winston himself, it also includes experiences of other horses he meets along life's way.
Missing in Egypt
Series: Anna Davies Mystery. Price: $1.25 USD. Words: 50,550. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(4.00 from 1 review)
Missing in Egypt will intrigue you with its twists and turns, romance and adventure. 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. This fast-paced action