Connect with Rita
I wrote my first mystery novel when I was twelve years old, but I grew up in a small Southern town (in a low-income family) and didn't think ‘real’ people became writers. So it wasn't until my mid-life crisis years later that I actually thought about trying to be published! Before I started writing, I taught kindergarten for ten years. Finger painting, puppet shows, and storytelling with imaginative five-year-olds made me yearn to do more with my creative edge, and so I began by writing children's stories which I used to perform at bookstores, libraries, and schools.
When summer came around, I was then bombarded with three bored kids of my own (and a house full of pets) and in a desperate attempt to keep my own children occupied and maintain my sanity, I searched for a book on summer activities for kids. When I found the bookstores were lacking, I decided to write one myself. My summer project turned into my first book, entitled Surviving Summers with Kids: Fun Filled Activities for All.
After reading my first romance novel, I decided I was well and truly hooked and promptly told my family I was leaving the finger painting, the puppets and the minivan behind, to write adult fiction. So far I have sold twelve books, and won the Maggie Award for my 1999 Harlequin Intrigue title, Her Eyewitness. And I haven’t looked back since!