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Rita Clay Estrada – On Writing

October 8, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as ,

Author RITA CLAY ESTRADA is RWA’s first president and the co-founder of OCC whose contributions to the romance genre led the national organization to name its highest honor – the RITA Award – in her honor.

Join us at our 25th Anniversary Party on Oct. 14 for a chance to thank this romance legend.

For the complete interview with Rita, look no further than the October issue of Orange Blossom.

Today on A Slice of Orange, Rita talks about her writing.

Q – A lot has been said about your book, THE IVORY KEY.

According to Debbie Macomber’s and Paula Eykelhof’s article, Romancing The Store, “The first paranormal romance read by many contemporary readers was Rita Clay Estrada’s The Ivory Key, a Harlequin Temptation published in the early 1980s. The hero was a time-traveling ghost. Any other publisher would have laughed at the concept. But no one’s laughing anymore. Stories about vampires, ghosts, werewolves—they’re all selling.”

And a reader review states, “This book has intrigued me since I first read it over 10 years ago. She writes with such reality it made the book so believable. I wore out the copy of this book many years ago but continue to read it again and again. It is worth the search to find a copy. I am trying to find out if she wrote a sequel.”

Will there be a sequel to The Ivory Key?

A – No. I thought of it at one time, but it would never be as powerful as the first, so why bother? I don’t want to compete with myself, I want to do something new and different and make it the best I can.

Q – What inspired it?

A – Originally, the Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

When I first decided to write out of the closet, I went to work in a B. Dalton Bookstore. I was manager and worked with two awesome women: Nicole Ball and Anita Solomon. Both are still in the business and Nicole is now in corporate Headquarters. Late at night I would start talking, attempting to work out that plot. Anita would throw in a thought and it spurred me on. However, it was the first story I thought of before I sold my first book. It didn’t come out until much later in my career – nobody wanted to touch it.

Q – What is it that you love about this story?

A – The endless possibility of those parallel worlds Einstein believed existed.

Q – What else can you tell us about it or the writing of it?

A – By the time I started writing it for real, I was in the middle of ending a 29 year marriage and it was not a pleasant time. I think I buried myself in the writing.

Q – What are you working on now? Can you tell us about your next project?

A – I just finished a story that has rattled around in my brain for a while until I finally put it on paper. The working title is Sweet Charity, the story of a spoiled woman who lost her way into womanhood and has to get back on path again.

Q – Which of your heroes is your favorite? Why?

A – Armand in Ivory Key was so wonderfully chauvinistic. Ben in Too Wicked to Love was so badly damaged by his parents. Both were redeemable by the love of a good woman. What more could they want?

Q – Which of your heroines is your favorite? Why

A – Dianne in Wise Folly or Catherine in A Woman’s Choice. Both had hang-ups and had to change or dry up.

Both did.

Women rule…

Dana Diamond is the OCC/RWA Secretary, a columnist for OCC’s award-winning newsletter Orange Blossom, a contributor to A Slice of Orange, and hard at work on her next book.

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