interview · Pay It Forward · Writing

Author Interview: Rita Chapman

1. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

The intended audience for Winston – A Horse’s Tale is horse lovers from teenagers upwards. People who love horses also love to read about them. This book is a little unusual in that it is told by Winston himself as he tries to explain the confusion often felt by horses when they go to a new owner, who does things completely differently to his previous owner. It also contains stories and snippets about other horses Winston meets along life’s way. Winston is an Australian horse and much of the story is set around the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland.

2. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

I designed the cover from a photo of a beautiful horse I owned several years ago. He was a huge part of my life and I get a great thrill every time I see his photo on the book image. 

3. How did you get started doing what you do?

I’ve always wanted to write a book but although I started a couple of times on a typewriter (I didn’t have my own computer) but I never finished. It was when I retired and finally had my own computer that I sat down to write the novel “that everyone has in them”.

4. What are some of the projects you’ve worked on / finished in the past?

My first book was Missing in Egypt, which is a romantic travel mystery set in Australia and Egypt. It contains vivid descriptions of some of the Egyptian sites and tombs and has a couple of interesting twists in the storyline.

5. What are you writing at the moment?

I’ve started a crime thriller but most of my time seems to be spent promoting Winston – A Horse’s Tale!

6. Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional

The Queen. I admire the way she has upheld the monarchy even during some very testing personal times.

7. What is your writing environment like? Do you write with a pen and paper, or on a computer? Do you need quiet, or music in the background? Do you have a pet who gets in on the act?

I need complete quiet and, hopefully, no interruptions! I often write when it’s wet because the great outdoors isn’t tempting me away and I always use my computer. My handwriting is terrible!

8. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us: 

A few minutes later the Master of the Hunt put his horn to his lips and let out a dreadful sound, which made me stand to attention. Then everyone followed him out of the yard, through a gate and into the paddocks. I was feeling my oats, as they say, and with the excitement of all the other horses and ponies around, I jogged and played on the bit and was quite caught up in the splendour of it all. Once everyone was through the gate the Master broke into a canter, still blowing his horn and he and the hounds headed off across the grassy paddock, followed by the riders in red coats (yes, I know they call them pink coats, but what colour do you think they are?) and then everyone else following behind. As soon as we started cantering I stopped pulling – I didn’t need to be first, I just wanted to be going along with everyone.


For more information on Rita Lee Chapman and her books, visit her website


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