Rita Lee Chapman was born in London and moved to Australia in her early twenties. It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel, Missing in Egypt, the first in the Anna Davies Mystery series. Missing at Sea is Book#2 in the series and Missing in London is Book #3. All can be enjoyed as stand-alone books.
Winston – A Horse’s Tale was written for horse lovers like herself. “It was the book I had to write.”
Dangerous Associations and The Poinciana Tree are crime mysteries.
When she’s not writing or reading, Rita enjoys playing tennis, walking and entertaining.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m Rita Lee Chapman and I live in Queensland, Australia. I didn’t finish writing my first book until I retired and have now self-published A holiday in Egypt inspired my first book. A country of lost tombs, barren landscapes and endless possibilities. What better place to set a mystery?
Do you have a specific writing style?
I think so, but probably so does every other author. I would call mine a cross between Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins-Clark but that’s probably not fair on either of those authors!
How did you come up with the title for your last book?
Poinciana Trees are in abundance where I live and are so beautiful. I looked at them one year and thought – a Poinciana tree would make a great cover. The book grew from there!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Whatever happens to you in life you have to move on and keep living.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Rebecca Bryn and Sarah Stuart are indie authors I have met through writing and I admire both of them.
What are your current projects?
I’ve just started the fourth book in the Anna Davies Mystery Series, Missing in France.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, not in my latest book, but my first book could be improved. I think I have grown as a writer over time.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always wanted to write and loved writing essays from primary school. My first book was a little one for my younger brother when I was still at school.
Can you share a sample of your current work with us?
I’d love to. Here is the prologue from The Poinciana Tree.
She looked out of the kitchen window at the spreading branches of the Poinciana Tree. She gazed at the familiar limbs, dotted here and there with lichen, which formed a canopy over the grass. She thought of the picnics she had enjoyed under its shade as a child and then, later, as a mother. It was summer now and the tree was covered with the huge red flowers for which it was famous. So beautiful. It was a tree she had loved ever since she was a little girl – right up until that dreadful day. Now it only reminded her of the things she most wanted to forget. She let out a long, deep sigh and turned away.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing, always the editing. By the time you have read your own work many times you are truly ready to move on.
Who designed the covers for your books?
I designed my covers through KDP.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
For people thinking about writing a book my advice would be just start. With computers you can move chapters and paragraphs around, delete them and start again. As someone else said, you can’t edit a blank page.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy my writing and will read all of my books!
Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember was Chicken Little.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy playing tennis, swimming, walking and having friends around for dinner.
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chocolate, champagne, ice-cream, fruit. Favourite colours are blue and white. Music – haunting ballads (Celine Dion, Whitney Houston), some opera (Pavarotti, Placido Domingo) and rock and roll.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would love to have been a singer.
One final question...Do you have a blog/website? If so, what is it?
Yes, I do. http://www.ritaleechapman.com