My imagination was creating stories from a very young age. Among my mother’s things I found stories I had written, in that awkward printing stage children go through. The stories were complete with illustrations, usually roses. I’ve always loved the idea of romance and happy ever after. I adored fairy tales. I watched them with my daughters and now how exciting to get to watch them again with my grandchildren.
Most writers tell me that although they might be alone much of the day, they all have a cast of real life characters who support them in many ways. Who are the people on your team?
Everyone needs cheerleaders, and I am blessed with a whole family of them, and they are a constant source of encouragement. My husband reads my stories and cheers me on, and my stories are so out of his preferred genre. My granddaughter, Victoria, keeps my website and Facebook page updated and looking great. And I adore my FaithWriters and Facebook friends, a terrific group of supporters, hugs all around.
Your biggest critic?
It would be that little, and sometimes not-so-little—inner voice—that has me wanting to shred each novel. That same voice whispers doubts as I write the first page of a new novel. How will 250 words become 50,000 to 80,000 words? Then I get to the end and need to cut, tighten, and remove about 10,000 words.
What sparked the idea for your Serenity’s Cove series? Did you begin with a name or place? Did scenes start playing in your mind?
The characters who reside in the fictional town of Serenity Cove first appeared in a weekly challenge entry, on a website called FaithWriters. The character of a deaf young woman stayed with me. Like pulling on a loose thread, her story kept unraveling in my head. One morning I opened my computer and felt an intense prompting to write her story. Less than six weeks later I typed the end on Kaleidoscope Summer, as the second Serenity Cove novel, Tangerine Morning, begun unfolding.
My maternal grandparents were both deaf and could read lips very well, so your character reminded me of them. Many deaf people can read conversations from across the room! In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?
Oh, I hope so. I always want to be learning and growing as a writer; otherwise, my writing would stagnate. Sometimes it’s the most basic concepts that are easily overlooked—reminders are a good thing.
Do you have any rituals you follow when finishing a piece of work?
Does deep cleaning my house count? * smile * Seriously, by the time I finish polishing a novel I’m ready to kick back and relax. A night of music and dancing—under the stars if it’s summer. Time on the shore, barefootin’ in the sand has a way of refreshing my spirit and mind.
What is the most important thing in your life right now?
As cliché as it may sound: God, family, and then writing. Properly aligned priorities are super-important, and keep all the different facets of life working in harmony.
What is your favorite past-time?
Besides spending time with my own prince charming, I enjoy creating cloth dolls. I made my first cloth doll when one of my daughters wanted a thirty-six inch Raggedy Ann doll. It was two days before her second birthday. I finished adding the red yarn hair the night before her big day. She adored her doll, and I fell in love with creating cloth dolls. The process of watching the dolls take on an almost life-like personality as the painted, or stitched facial features are added is truly magical. Even more precious is the beam in a child’s eyes as they hug their new softly stuffed friend.
Based on your publishing experiences, what advice would you have for a writer eager for a byline or to see her name on a book cover?
Writing articles and short stories is a fantastic way for new writers to start getting their work known. FaithWriters has been an awesome experience for me. Entering the weekly challenge helped me see my strengths and weaknesses and also provided constant support and encouragement.
Something I have heard from so many authors, I now find myself repeating is that the most important thing a new writer can do is to write. For me, writing my first novel was exhilarating, and also a great learning experience. If I’d waited until I felt ready, the characters would most likely still be bouncing around in my head. Like the Nike commercial says, “Just do it.”
Great advice, Rita! Hope you will come back to visit again! And here are Rita’s bio and the blurb from her latest book:
Bio: Dr. Rita Garcia writes Inspirational Hope-filled Fiction. Although the stories are contemporary, they’re set in small-town America, where life is a step back in time, blending the best of both worlds. Each story contains an element of romance blended with a larger element of hope.
Rita loves living in Southern California with her husband, Joe, her life partner and best friend. They have four adorable daughters and seven fantastic grandchildren who fill their lives with love, laughter, and never a dull moment. Each phase of life has been an awesome journey for Rita, and her life as an empty nester is no exception. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has a passion for helping others achieve their most important life goals.
When Rita isn’t spending time in the fictional town of Serenity Cove, she enjoys making cloth dolls, stuffing them with love and giving each one a unique personality with the addition of little stitched faces. She loves surprising people with a new friend as they transition through illness or other life changes. Her greatest joy in life is just hanging out with her husband. Spending time with family and friends keeps her spirit free and nourishes her creativeness.
Blurb for Lavender Rain, Maggie’s Story. Book Three of the Serenity Cove Series.
But that’s not the biggest challenge. The defining moment in her life comes as she listens to Doc’s diagnosis, and cringes at what she views as a death sentence.
The storms in Maggie’s life will test the depth of her faith and heart. Finding a faint thread of hope is difficult. Can Maggie cling to her faith and learn to trust God in a bigger way than she ever thought possible?
Thanks so much for hosting me Rose. I would so enjoy sharing a cuppa and chatting with you in person. And I hope everyone reading this will read my blog today to learn more about Rose as she answers some interview questions at http://www.