About Rita

Write a Novel? Who, Me?

I’ve always loved reading and writing. I wrote for our class newspaper in elementary school and entertained my friends with satires of our teachers in high school. Somewhere in my secret heart of hearts I dreamed of writing, but something always held me back.

One fine summer day after I retired–did I mention I procrastinate?–I signed up for a writing class.

An intensive writing class.

The course said that each week we ’d critique each other’s work. “Don’t worry,” said my writing friend. “Write a novel. It’s easier than writing a bunch of short stories.”

I shrugged. I had all summer to work on it. How hard could it be?

A week before the class began I still hadn’t written a word. I needed inspiration – and fast – so I fell back on my second love–history–and researched my new hometown, Hamilton.

Before long I found myself in 1837. A thirteen-year-old boy named Jamie McAuley is searching for his father, who has gone off to fight in a rebellion. Did I mention I have a soft spot for rebels?

After that I was hooked. I rediscovered what I’d known as a child–writing is magic. Create a character and—poof—he or she appears on the page!  Make your character want something, something he will do anything to get, then toss an obstacle or three in his path. Watch what happens.

The characters are inside you, waiting to be unleashed. The job of a writer is to get out of their way and let them come to life.

Now that I’ve told you my writing story, I’d like to hear yours!

Awards for Rita’s writing:

First Prize in the 2015 CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) contest for the opening chapter of REBEL MOON

Short-listed at the Elora Writers’ Festval 2014 Contest for her short story “The Promise,” an early version of the opening chapter of REBEL MOON

Third Prize at the Elora Writers’ Festival 2015 Contest for her adult short story “Closer”

What people are saying about REBEL MOON:

  • “Excellent details and language for historical setting”
  • “Period details and plot portents are deftly woven in”
  • “Opens with a sense of urgency, period details woven into action”

Take a look for yourself!   Read an extract of REBEL MOON