Geetanjali Mukherjee

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Guest Post: How A Holiday In Egypt Resulted In My Becoming An Author!

Today's post is about the journey into writing by Rita Chapman, author of three books. 


I had always enjoyed writing – in school I wrote long essays and even made up a couple of little books 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.

Since then I have written Winston – A Horse’s Tale, one for horse lovers and Dangerous Associations, a crime mystery. As you will see, they are all different genres. Some authors prefer to stay with one genre to build up a readership, I prefer to write about different subjects that interest me.

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. However the friends I have made along the way, on websites like Goodreads and with local bookshop owners makes it all worthwhile.

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


Bio:

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, a romantic travel mystery. 

Winston – A Horse’s Tale followed, written for horse lovers like herself.  “It was the book I had to write.” 

Her latest book, Dangerous Associations, is her first foray into crime mystery.


Missing in Egypt

Missing in Egypt will intrigue you with its twists and turns, romance and adventure as well as its insights into Australian and Egyptian cultures. 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. Will they be able to track him down and find him alive - or is Ramy already dead? What tragedies await Anna and Kareem as they come closer to retracing his footsteps? This fast-paced action plot will keep you guessing until the end.

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