Rita Plush

Biography

I began my varied career as an interior designer, where I held the job of coordinator of the Interior Design/Decorating Certificate Program at Queensborough Community College for twenty years. I remain on the faculty teaching courses in design, decorative arts and creative writing.

My first novel, “Lily Steps Out” (Penumbra 2012)—twelve years in the making—earned “Published & Proud,” a feature article in Newsday’s Act II, followed by “Rita Steps Out,” in the Times Ledger. My short stories appeared in many literary journals including The Alaska Quarterly Review, before they were included in the collection, “Alterations” (Penumbra 2013). “Feminine Products,” is my most recent novel (Penumbra 2015). I love to read and write about the books I read and enjoy being the book reviewer for the Fire Island News.

I like talking about writing and other topics that interest me, and as a speaker I’ve presented at libraries and synagogues, at Hofstra University and CW Post Hutton House, on topics as varied as decorative arts, interior design, the talk, "Writing and Publishing in the Modern Age, or So You've Written a Book; Now What?" and "Coco Chanel ~ The Woman-The Legend." As far as blog talk radio, I read a segment from Alterations on "The Author's Corner" for Public Radio, guested on The Writer's Dream, LTV, and The Amy Beth Arkway Show.

When I think about it, there are a lot similarities between interior design and writing. "It's creativity at work. Writing is another form of design. In rooms, you put fabrics and furnishings together, aiming for that perfect note of color, texture and scale. Everything arranged in a way that instantly strikes the eye as a balanced whole. Writing is similar, except that instead of objects, you put people and plot together to create that balance. A world made with words.

http://www.ritaplush.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ritaplush.

Smashwords Interview

What is your favorite thing to write about?
Hands down, people are my favorite things to write about, and I always begin my stories with a character or characters in mind. They seem to present themselves to me, doing something, saying something, thinking something. I love to dress them, give them little personality quirks and a particular way of speaking that distinguishes each of them from every other character in the story. Sometimes I get myself into trouble with my characters, in that when I’m stuck in a plot, I make up someone new. Happened just the other day in the novel I’m working on. I had a woman and a little girl in a kitchen, and for the life of me, I just couldn’t get them to move out of it, so I had the woman think about her mother—voila! a new character. Now, everyone needs a mother, but in Chapter 3? Out went mom.
Is there a particular theme you gravitate toward?
Relationships seem to always draw me in. All aspects of family life in general capture my interest. I don’t plan it that way, it just happens. It must be what’s important to me, what’s on my mind, even when I’m not aware of it. That’s when the little truths come out, what we’re thinking about when we don’t we’re even thinking—if that makes sense.
Read more of this interview.

Books

Feminine Products
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,310. Language: American English. Published: October 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Rusty mistrusts men. They’ve all abandoned her - first was her father who ran out on her and her mother when she was six. She meets Walter Margolis and thinks she has it all - until she tells him she's pregnant. A smooth-talking con man who knew her parents spurs her to search for her father. Along the way, she learns about losing love and finding it, and what it means to be a family.
Alterations
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,720. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Jewish
SHORT STORY COLLECTION. These pieces feel so immediate and alive – the voices, every detail – like memoir. Intimate, funny, and full of surprises, they’re big – about love, death, sex, loss, longing. I especially enjoyed “Love, Mona.” The intimate, beautiful portrayal of grief and hope ends with a wordless gesture so tender and expressive, I will never forget it. –Mary Azrael, Editor, Passager
Lily Steps Out
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,960. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Jewish
Empty nest and retired husband - after 30 years of cooking and cleaning, Lily Gold wants more out of life, something of her own - a job. Just when she's about to open her own antique center, husband Leon decides he's had enough of her 'hobby' and closes their joint account. HIS needs - what about HERS? How far will she go to assert her independence? She's about to find out...

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