The old saying, “Life is Stranger than Fiction”, epitomizes my journey this past year. Some days I’m still not sure any of this is real, or if I’m going to sadly wake up from this incredible dream.
One year ago today, I discovered GCLS and soon after was accepted into the GCLS Writing Academy 2021. I was not a published author, nor did anybody in the Sapphic writing community know my name. My wife and I lived a quiet existence in the middle of a cornfield where I wrote my stories. I’d not even heard the term, an author’s voice, let alone found my own.
One year later, my second novel, Upheaval: As We Know It Book One will be released by Sapphire Books on August 15th, and my first novel, Broken not Shattered hasn’t sold half bad for a debut.
The most surreal feeling is that people know my name. From the obscurity of the cornfield, to being able to shoot off an email to a number of people, including award-winning authors, who will gladly offer advice and encouragement. Through GCLS and the Writing Academy, I have met amazing people, who have made my journey truly special. I would love to recognize them all by name, but as an author I know I might lose my reader. So, to move the plot forward, thank you to all who are traveling this path with me.
During this journey, the most difficult aspect was to discover who I am as a writer. To find my voice, so to speak. I soon realized my books didn’t fit in the genre of contemporary romance. While all my books have an element of romance, it isn’t necessarily the primary focus.
I also discovered that some found the subject matter of my books to be a bit heavy. I, on the other hand, being an eternal optimist struggled to see my writing as anything but positive and uplifting. My characters would get their happily ever after they just had to work a little harder at it.
I’d written out the letters HEA as I contemplated what it meant to me. Before long, I had written the words, Hopeful, Eclectic and Authentic. I’d found my brand, and I was at peace. I don’t write contemporary romance. What I write is, hopeful stories of resilience that are eclectic and told in an authentic voice.
Stranger than fiction? Seems like a fairytale to me. In one short year, I have found a community and my voice. And hopefully, I will sell a few books along the way too. If you want to read something a little different, check out my upcoming release. Upheaval: As We Know It Book One.
Rita Potter has spent most of her life trying to figure out what makes people tick. To that end, she holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and an MA in sociology. Being an eternal optimist, she maintains that the human spirit is remarkably resilient. Her writing reflects this belief.
Rita’s stories are eclectic but typically put her characters in challenging circumstances. She feels that when they reach their happily ever after, they will have earned it. Despite the heavier subject matter, Rita’s humorous banter and authentic dialogue reflect her hopeful nature.
In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors. She is especially drawn to the water, which is ironic since she lives in the middle of a corn field. Her first love has always been reading. It is this passion that spurred her writing career. She rides a Harley Davidson and has an unnatural obsession with fantasy football. More than anything she detests small talk but can ramble on for hours given a topic that interests her.
She lives in a small town in Illinois with her wife, Terra, and their cat, Chumley, who actually runs the household.
Rita is a member of American Mensa and the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS). She is a graduate of the GCLS Writing Academy 2021.
Catch up with Rita online: