Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Unlocked by Rita J. Webb

Welcome to Author Rita J. Webb!


Throughout her childhood, Rita travelled around the country with a book always in hand. Rita finally settled in Ohio where she attended college to study Computer Science and then began a career as a Software Test Analyst, a beautiful title for an empty position.

Rita’s love for books and great stories pushed her to start writing when impending layoffs forced her to reconsider her dreams and goals. Having tested software for ten years, she wanted to create something more meaningful than a test manual, something that would move hearts.

With her husband TJ, Rita home-schools her three girls, who keep her busy with art, science projects, books to read, and walks about the park.


If you were a super hero what would your name be, what would be your superpower and what would your kryptonite be?
My name would be Jade’s Trick, a reference to Much Ado About Nothing, when Beatrice says, “You always end with a jade’s trick.” That line intrigued me. What is a jade’s trick anyway? I looked it up—it refers to a broken-down horse that’s been spiffed up to look healthy and strong. Shakespeare uses it to say things ain’t what they seem, some trickery is afoot.
My powers would be illusion and transmutation. Best super powers for someone with Trick in her name. I would be a good gal, of course, with just a touch of mischief to earn my name.
My kryptonite would be coffee and chocolate. It makes me melt.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Symbiote. My short story Symbiote appeared in the anthology Unlocked, and in a lot of ways, it’s the story of when I decided to become a writer. In parable form, of course.
Like the girl cyborg in my story, I dreamt of freedom and wished the stars would rescue me. I always wanted to be home with my kids, baking with them, homeschooling, gardening, and I wanted what Mark Twain had said about “finding your work.” When the announcements of the layoffs came, I decided it was time to take my fate into my own hands.
Does that mean I’m a cyborg? I’m not telling.
It’s my hope that people will read Symbiote and decide to follow their dreams.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
I really love Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. When I read her books, I expected to turn around and find werewolves in my kitchen. So immersed in her world, I had to go back and read them all again this month, having just finished them in November. Unfortunately, I have to wait until March until the last one comes out.

What’s your favorite music genre? Favorite artist? Song?
I have to have music. Usually I prefer symphonic or gothic metal—Apocolyptica or Evanescence. I feel like I take the music inside me, and it makes the words flow.
Sometimes, I need something softer for writing, and then I like to listen to classical with a touch of electronic, like Vanessa Mae or Bond. I have my father to blame for my love of music. He raised me on classical, but I gravitated to rock. Now as an adult, I have to have them both together.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
You mean I have to pick ONE flavor? Just one? I love cookies and cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, strawberry, or anything with chocolate and caramel. Or mint chocolate chip, yum.
Unfortunately for me, I’m allergic to milk and eggs and wheat and corn and soy and coconut, and I haven’t yet found an ice cream that doesn’t contain one of those items. So for me, ice cream is a fantasy, a savory buffet of tastes and sweetness, all the sweeter for its forbidden fruit.

Favorite Cartoon?
I’ve got to say something about the TV series Avatar, the Last Airbender. This is for kids? My husband and I discovered this series when the kids were too young to enjoy it. We’d watch after they went to bed, and only recently did we share it with them. My children are lucky that their parents are kids too.
The writing and character development and plot are just amazing. Sometimes, it’s hard as a writer to experience the work of others. It’s humbling and inspiring and intimidating, all at the same time. Yet, it’s great works that makes us love reading and turns readers into writers.

How would you classify your book (which genre)?
YA anthology with stories that encompass sci-fi, fantasy, regency, and contemporary

Rita’s Blog:

Book Summary:

Treachery in old London, a crop circle mystery, and a cyborg punished for gazing at the night sky open this collection of new stories that will intrigue teens and adults alike.

Fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and fanciful versions of school life—the motif they share is a key. Which key will unlock a mystery, free the trapped, comfort the rejected, or bring new resolve to a boy who has taken a wrong path? What treasures can we discover if we only find the right key?

Giveaway Details:
1 Copy of Unlocked
Open Internationally
Ends 2/13

Optional Extra Entries:
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