Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I think I’ve been writing since the day I learned how letters combined for words. I had quite a collection of poetry before I graduated high school. Later, in order to support myself as a single parent, I took contract work with Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia editing down articles for their year book. They sent me galleys enabling me to be home with my children. Years later, while living in Mexico I was hired by Mexico This Month, an English language monthly tourist magazine, to do interviews. From then on, I continued freelancing to supplement my income as an English Second Language teacher.
What inspired you to write your book?
I met my second husband in Mexico. We talked about a sea voyage together. The idea of writing about it was part of my motivation for setting sail with him. Life at sea was harder and more precarious than I could have anticipated, and I didn’t have the mental space to do it. Some thirty years later he asked me if I’d sail with him again—this time from Tunisia to Tahiti. I told him I’d think about it, and wrote a childhood friend in Belgium about his offer. She mailed me all the letters I had written her during those years. Reading the letters triggered insights I didn’t have back then. I wanted to share my unique story and all I had learned from it. Had I written Seeker at the time, it would have not gained from the expansion that hindsight brought.
What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
On one level Seeker: A Sea Odyssey is an adventure story filled with pirates, monsoons and raging seas. But it’s also a story of love, betrayal and forgiveness. I dealt with challenges and survival on many levels, healed wounds and found my voice. I hope readers can relate to my insights and find their own strengths through reading my journey.
What drew you to this particular genre?
In the sixth grade I had written the class poem for graduation, but it was given to another child to read as though it was her poem. I seethed at the injustice, and thought about other unfair situations I had seen. At that moment I decided I wanted write about them, so the world would know and put things right. I remember thinking I didn’t have enough life experiences to make a difference, and knew I’d have to grow up and experience as much of life as I could. I actually did that, and writing and sharing insights about what I have learned through life experience lends itself to memoir writing.
If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I met many people at sea who had interesting stories—interesting pasts. Some traumatic or life changing experience caused them to drop out of society. One such character was Johnny. We first met Johnny in the Philippines and met up with him again in Cypress. He had been in Hitler youth, but was never deprogrammed after the war though many others were. At one point, he told us his father had denounced and stolen the property of a Jewish friend. His mother had a nervous breakdown over the event and never fully recuperated. He carried the burden of parents’ story, felt at home nowhere and drank too much. I’d like to ask him why he refused to be deprogrammed, preferring to carry guilt and needing to share this part of his family story with others. The writer in me always wants to know the interior conflicts that define character and motivate behavior.
What social media has been most helpful in developing your readership?
I’m a bit of a luddite, and don’t use much social media though I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Seeker: A Sea Odyssey has received good reviews and was shortlisted by the Quebec Writers’ Federation as the best first book for 2019. I’m hoping word of mouth, combined with readings and interviews will bring readers to the memoir.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers or just starting authors out there?
Don’t give up. Rejection is part of the process. If you aren’t receiving rejections, you aren’t sending out your work. But don’t send indiscriminately. Research and know what each publisher or publication is asking for so that you pinpoint your market.
What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books on the horizon?
I’m working on a childhood memoir tentatively titled Genesis. It covers the period of my life from embryo to eleven years old. Research in the field of epigenetics is lending credence to the idea that trauma passes down through the genes. We come into the world innocent, but we carry family history from earlier generations. It’s a fascinating discovery, and I’d like to show how it relates to my childhood and how I believe it shaped my early development.
About the Author Rita Pomade
Rita Pomade— teacher, poet, memoirist—lived six years aboard a small yacht that took her from Taiwan to the Suez to Mallorca, dropping anchor in 22 countries. She and her husband navigated through raging monsoons, encountered real-life pirates, and experienced cultures that profoundly changed them. Seeker: A Sea Odyssey, published by Guernica Editions under the Miroland label tells her story.
Rita Pomade, a native New Yorker, first settled in Mexico before immigrating to Quebec. During her time in Mexico, she taught English, wrote articles and book reviews for Mexconnect, an ezine devoted to Mexican culture, and had a Dear Rita monthly column on handwriting analysis in the Chapala Review. In Montreal she taught English as a Second Language at Concordia University and McGill University until her retirement. She is a two-time Moondance International Film Festival award winner, once for a film script and again for a short story deemed film worthy. Her work is represented in the Monologues Bank, a storehouse of monologues for actors in need of material for auditions, in several anthologies, and in literary reviews. Her travel biography, Seeker: A Sea Odyssey, was shortlisted for the 2019 Concordia University First Book Award. .
— Blog Tour Dates
June 29th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us in celebrating the launch of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.
July 2nd @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog
Visit Fiona’s blog and you can read a guest post by the author about how she could have enriched her journey at sea.
July 5th @ CK Sorens’ Blog
Visit Carrie’s blog today and you can read her review of Rita Pomade’s memoir Seeker.
July 6th @ Create Write Now
Visit Mari L. McCarthy’s blog where you can read author Rita Pomade’s guest post about what she learned about herself through writing.
July 7th @ The Faerie Review
Make sure you visit Lily’s blog and read a guest post by the author about cooking on a shoestring at sea.
July 8th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey’s blog today and read her review of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 10th @ 12 Books
Visit Louise’s blog and read her review of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 11th @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette’s blog today and you can read her review of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 12th @ It’s Alanna Jean
Visit Alanna’s blog today and you can read a guest post by author Rita Pomade about the ten best traits you need for living aboard a yacht.
July 13th @ The New England Book Critic
Join Vickie as she reviews Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 14th @ Bev. A Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog today and read her review of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 15th @ Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa’s blog today where she interviews author Rita Pomade about her book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 16th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog where he reviews Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 17th @ 12 Books
Visit Louise’s blog and read author Rita Pomade’s guest post discussing sailing myths.
July 18th @ Author Anthon Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog today and read his interview with author Rita Pomade.
July 20th @ Bev. A Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog again and you can read author Rita Pomade’s guest post featuring her advice on writing a memoir.
July 21st @ Jill Sheet’s Blog
Visit Jill’s blog where you can read a guest post by author Rita Pomade about how her handwriting analysis skills made her a better writer.
July 22nd @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra’s blog today and you can checkout her spotlight of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 23rd @ Choices
Visit Madeline’s blog today and you can read a guest post by author Rita Pomade about the benefits of spending time abroad.
July 24th @ Books, Beans and Botany
Visit Ashley’s blog today where she reviews Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey.
July 24th @ Tiggy’s Books
Visit Tiggy’s blog today and read her review of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker: A Sea Odyssey. She’ll also be chatting a bit with the author!
July 26th @ CK Sorens Blog
Visit Carrie’s blog today and you can read a guest post by author Rita Pomade about how she jumpstart her writing process.
July 27th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Visit Kathleen’s blog today and read her review of Rita Pomade’s book Seeker.
July 28th @ Lady Unemployed
Visit Nicole’s blog today where you can read a guest post by author Rita Pomade talking about stepping outside of one’s comfort zone.
July 31st @ Wild Hearted
Visit Ashley’s blog where you can read a guest post by author Rita Pomade about why she jumped at the chance to go to sea.