Mastodon The Writing Desk: Guest Post by Rita Lee Chapman: How a holiday in Egypt led to my first novel – Missing in Egypt

14 April 2016

Guest Post by Rita Lee Chapman: How a holiday in Egypt led to my first novel – Missing in Egypt

Available on Amazon UK  Amazon AU and Amazon US

Missing in Egypt will intrigue you with its twists and turns, romance and adventure as well as its insights into Australian and Egyptian cultures. Australian Anna Davies travels to Egypt with her lover to help him search for his brother, who disappeared whilst on holiday. The Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel and the Temple of Karnak are amongst the settings for their search. Will they be able to track him down and find him alive - or is Ramy already dead? What tragedies await Anna and Kareem as they come closer to retracing his footsteps? This fast-paced action plot will keep you guessing until the end.

I had always enjoyed writing – in school I wrote long essays and even made up a couple of little books for my youngest brother.  Over my working life I started a few chapters – but with no computer at home it was all done on a typewriter and I never finished a whole book.  When I retired I decided I was finally going to write that book that is in all of us! 

The question was, what would I write about?  The possibilities seemed endless and I had great difficulty deciding what to choose as my theme.  I read several times that you should write about something of which you have knowledge. My husband and I had visited Egypt just before we retired and it had made a huge impact on me.  It is like no other country I have visited.  The temples there are largely complete, unlike ruins in so many other countries.

We cruised the Upper Nile, changed boats at Aswan and cruised the Lower Nile.  We visited temples on the Upper Nile by tenders, always accompanied by an armed guard.  Often we would leave before seven in the morning because the heat even at that time was intense.  I marvelled at some of our cruise companions who were quite elderly and disabled but they were determined to see these amazing places and endured the heat and the walking without complaint.  Egypt seemed to me the perfect place to set my story.  The discovery of a new tomb was perfectly within the realms of possibility and the remoteness of the Valley of the Queens made it a believable setting.

I can't say it was an easy journey to complete Missing in Egypt.  I couldn't see where the story was going or envisage the ending.  I would lie awake at night trying to work out the plot.  Once I had the outline, filling in the detail was easy as I knew I could do it.

Egypt is a mysterious and intriguing country.  Vast deserts and uninhabited areas, crowded cities, towering pyramids and ancient tombs are all found in Egypt.  Even today new tombs are being discovered, many still containing the sarcophagus and a myriad of valuable jewellery and antiques to sustain the deceased on their journey to the after life.  What better place to set a mystery?  And so Missing in Egypt was born.

Winston – A Horse’s Tale

My second book, Winston – A Horse’s Tale was the book I had to write.  Mad about horses from an early age I wanted to write from the horse’s point of view.  Very much for horse lovers from teenagers upwards (it is very horsey) it is my favourite book and I found it very easy to write.

Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures.  As you read his story, told by Winston himself, you will appreciate horse ownership from the horse’s point of view.  Born on a country property in Australia, Winston tells of his breaking-in and education and the different people he encounters – good, bad and ignorant.  As well as his own story, Winston includes the experiences of other horses he meets along life’s way.  

Whether it’s jumping, eventing, hunting or just hacking, Winston tries hard to please his rider. Follow his successes and his failures from his breaking-in to his show jumping win. It is an eventful life – the story of one Australian horse out of thousands, but one that you will remember.

Dangerous Associations

My latest book, Dangerous Associations, is a crime mystery.  I wanted to write something that would appear to a wider audience.  As I enjoy crime mysteries, both on television and in the written word, I chose this genre for my third book. 

An ex-husband, a new love, a stalker.  Cathy Thompson’s link to her ex-husband fills her life with threats and intimidation.  She must either trap her stalker or find Geoffrey to put an end to her life of fear.  

Rita Lee Chapman

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About the Author

Rita Lee Chapman was born in London and moved to Australia in her early twenties.  My working life was spent in Sydney and it was not until she retired to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland that Rita finished her first book. She says, 'The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful place to live with the sea, rivers and lakes all close by.' Find out more at Rita's website where she hosts a different guest author each week, and find her on Facebook.

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