Author RITA CLAY ESTRADA is RWAâ€™s first president and the co-founder of OCC whose contributions to the romance genre led the national organization to name its highest honor â€“ the RITA Award â€“ in her honor.
Today on A Slice of Orange, Rita talks about the Publishing Industry and some of her Favorite Things.
Q – What has changed for the good in the industry since you formed RWA?
A â€“ American writers can sell to the romance industry in America. American writers can take their name with them from publishing house to house. No one else can write under their pseudonym. They can check on the reputations of editors, agents and publishing houses before submitting manuscripts. They have a base in which to share ideas and contract clauses. They have a variety of sources both in chapters and in published reviews in which to use to promote and embellish their works. They have a cadre of writers to find information, seal friendships and feel a camaraderie for which there is no equal.
Q – What is your favorite book of all time? Why?
A â€“ The Wolf and the Dove. Yet I understand it sold the least of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss first six or seven books. It was the relationship between the hero/heroine that I enjoyed most. That characterization spoke to me.
Q – Which is the favorite of your books? Why?
A â€“ The one I love and hate at the same time is the one Iâ€™ve got the idea for and havenâ€™t written yet. Itâ€™s in a pristine state of mind and will stay that way until I put it to paper. Thatâ€™s where it turns to a pile of manure and I have to mold it into something that will allow the growth of a garden of characters and strong plot. But until itâ€™s on paper, itâ€™s perfect and brilliant!
Q – What do you look for or love to see in a hero?
A â€“ Itâ€™s evolved into a good heart, a sense of humor and the ability to talk as well as listen. Come to think of it, itâ€™s the same thing I love to see in any man…
For more of the interview with Rita, see the October issue of Orange Blossom.
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.