Welcome to Crime author, Rita Lee Chapman.
Please tell us about your publications/work.
There are four books in the Anna Davies Mystery Series: Missing in Egypt, Missing at Sea, Missing in London and Missing in France.
I have also written two crime mysteries – Dangerous Associations and The Poinciana Tree. I have also written a book for horse lovers, from teenagers upwards, Winston – A Horse’s Tale.
I decided the beautiful Poinciana tree would make a great cover for a book, so I started with the cover and then built a story around it.
Most of my books also come in large print editions.
Do you think the written word (or art) bring power and freedom?
I believe learning to read and write empowers everyone and should be a basic human right.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?
I was actually given this advice by a wise, local bookshop owner. “Don’t expect to become rich from your writing.” Perhaps I should have taken more notice!
If you could have dinner with any literary character or author who would you choose, and what would you eat.
I think I would choose Kate Moreton, a local Australian author, who writes so beautifully. I would like to have oysters natural for entrée, followed by roast pork with crackling and real apple sauce accompanied by roast vegetables, finishing with a decadent chocolate dessert. There would, of course, be French champagne to drink.
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?
For some of my books, the research has already been done, i.e. I set the book in a country I have visited. Other books require quite a lot of research. For The Poinciana Tree I researched in formation on, and read books based in, the Sudan. The wildest research I have done was on rohypnol, the rape drug, for Missing at Sea.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?
Write more books!
What is your writing space like?
Quiet! I’m lucky to have a study, lined with book shelves.
Tell us about your latest piece?
Missing in France is Book #4 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series. Like the others, it is a stand-alone book, although I have recently combined the four books into the Anna Davies Mystery Series e-book. Here is the blurb:
When Mike accepts a two-year contract in France, Anna is delighted at the prospect of spending time in Paris and Marseille. She doesn’t anticipate being drawn into yet another mystery, one which puts her own life in danger.
What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work?
I don’t offer books for free. I believe your time and energy deserve at least a small payment. I also think a lot of free books are downloaded and never read, because that reader has downloaded so many free books, with the best of intentions but lack of time to read them.
Sort these into order of importance:
With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling?
I think there is room for both indie authors and traditionally published authors. It is the writing that counts, not the form of publishing.
Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?
I think online shopping has affected all shops, especially during Covid. There is no doubt that bookshops have declined in number and many are much smaller in size, which mean they are limited in the number of books they can display. I am confident, however, that there will always be a call for bookshops.
What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
I wanted to be a show jumper, but as I lived in London, this was never likely to happen. I was fortunate to go riding at a local riding school once a week and when I moved to Australia I rode all week-end for many years. The show jumping bit never happened though.
Links to book
Large Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X63F2BN
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. This was followed by Missing at Sea, Missing in London and Missing in France. 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.