Polylyric Posts is delighted to host a guest post by English-Australian author Rita Lee Chapman. 

Rita 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.Winston – A Horse’s Tale followed, written for horse lovers like herself.  She says, “It was the book I had to write.”  Then followed Dangerous Associations, a crime mystery.

Rita’s latest book, Missing at Sea, is the second in the Anna Davies Mystery series.  It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book. 

Rita also generously hosts interviews with guest authors on her blog.  Her kind support of indie authors and publishers is greatly appreciated!

When she’s not writing or reading, Rita enjoys playing tennis, swimming and taking walks at the local beaches, lakes and river.

Please visit her website for more about Rita, her support for indie writers and publishers, her blog, and her wonderful work as an author:  www.ritaleechapman.com

I had always enjoyed writing – in school I wrote long essays and made up stories for my youngest brother.  Over my working life I started a few chapters – but with no computer at home it was all done on a typewriter and I never finished a whole book.  When I retired I decided I was finally going to write that book that is in all of us!

The challenge then was to choose a topic to write about.  I knew I wanted to write a mystery but that was all.  Then I remembered our holiday in Egypt – it had made quite an impression. Egypt is a mysterious and intriguing country.  Vast deserts and uninhabited areas, crowded cities, towering pyramids and ancient tombs are all found in Egypt.  Even today new tombs are being discovered, many still containing the sarcophagus and a myriad of valuable jewellery and antiques to sustain the deceased on their journey to the after life.  What better place to set a mystery?  And so Missing in Egypt was born, Book 1 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series.

This was followed by Winston – A Horse’s Tale, one for horse lovers, Dangerous Associations, a crime mystery and Missing at Sea, Book 2 in the Anna Davis Mystery Series.

I don’t have a strict writing regime – I’m retired!  I tend to write best when it’s raining and I’m confined indoors.  I don’t have a preferred time to write either, but I do like peace and quiet – no music, no interruptions – and I’m fortunate to live in a very quiet area.

With Dangerous Associations I wanted to finish it before Christmas, so towards the end I set myself a goal of writing a page a day.  That’s easily achievable and some days, if I was struggling with the plot, that was all I would write.  Most days though, once you get going, you find you have written a whole chapter.

When I finished my first book I let out a big sigh of relief and thought “good, that’s done.”  Little did I know!  I duly submitted my manuscript to a few publishing companies and sat back and waited.  When no-one came knocking at my door I took a look at Amazon and made the decision to self-publish.  I love the control and freedom that self-publishing provides (control freak?).  I worked my way through the Kindle process and then went on to CreateSpace and finally saw my book in print.  What a feeling!  However, then came the promotion and marketing and that is probably the hardest part of all.  It is constant, time-consuming and takes me away from writing the next book.  I also discovered that my return, particularly on a paperback, was ridiculously low.  However the friends I have made along the way, on websites like Goodreads and with local bookshop owners makes it all worthwhile.

My advice to any budding authors?  Do it – you can self-publish and see your work in print!  It’s an amazing journey.

Visit Rita Lee Chapman’s Website and Blog

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