Rita Clay Estrada

Rita Clay Estrada

Infobox Writer

imagesize = 150px
name = Rita Clay Estrada
caption =
pseudonym = Rita Clay,
Tira Lacy,
Rita Clay Estrada
birthdate = July 31, 1941
birthplace = Michigan, U.S.A.
nationality = American
occupation = Novelist
period = 1982 - 2001
genre = Romance
movement =
notableworks =
spouse =
partner =
children = 4
relatives = Rita Gallagher (mother)
influences =
influenced =
website =

Rita Clay Estrada (b. July 31, 1941 in Michigan, U.S.A.) is an U.S. writer of romance novels as Rita Clay, Tira Lacy and Rita Clay Estrada, she also wrote non-fiction books about to write a romance novel. She was the first president of the Romance Writers of America, and founding member with her mother Rita Gallagher.


Estrada was born on July 31 in Michigan, U.S.A.. Her mother, Rita Gallagher, was a former Miss Michigan, a romance novelist and a noted writing instructor, while her father was a pilot with the U.S. Air Force. She spent much of her early years living in Europe. She married her high school sweetheart when she was very young and stayed at home to raise their four children. In 1977, when she had been married about 20 years, her husband brought her a typewriter and said, "'You said you always wanted to write. Now write.'"citation|last=Racine|first=Marty|title=Romancing the word|newspaper=Houston Chronicle|date=August 26, 1995|url=http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1995_1293554|accessdate=2007-08-16]

Her first attempt was a long historical romance which was promptly rejected. Her next manuscript, a contemporary romance, was likewise rejected. Her third manuscript, "Wanderer's Dream," sold to Silhouette Books. She used her maiden name, Rita Clay for that and an additional seven titles for Silhouette. In 1982, she moved to Dell to write for their Candlelight Ecstasy line. Harlequin owned her pen name, so she wrote as Tira Lacy, an anagram of Rita Clay. In 1985 she resigned with Harlequin and asked to use her full name, Rita Clay Estrada, on all future books.

She generally takes 4.5 months to write a novel. Except for punctuation and fact-checking, she does very little rewriting, as "that's why there are editors." Generally, she writes five pages each night and more on the weekends. Her novels have been translated in 23 languages.

Estrada was a founding member and the first president of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Their signature award, the RITA, which is the highest award of excellence given in the genre of romantic fiction, is named for her.cite web|publisher=Romance Writers of America|title=RITA Awards|url=https://www.rwanational.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=RWA&WebKey=626513aa-6aaa-4e14-9873-6a3c1efbaa87|accessdate=2007-07-04] The RWA also awarded Estrada their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.cite web|publisher=Crescent Blues| last=Ward|first=Jean Marie|title=RWA National 2000: Contrasting Passions|url=http://www.crescentblues.com/3_4issue/rwa.shtml|accessdate=2007-07-04]

She and her husband are divorced.



As Rita Clay

ingle novels

*"Wanderer's Dream" (1981)
*"Sweet Eternity" (1982)
*"Yesterday's Dreams" (1982)
*"Experiment in Love" (1983)
*"Summer Song" (1983)

Wise Folly Series

#"Wise Folly" (1982)
#"Recapture the Love" (1984)

Omnibus in collaboration

*"Visible Heart / Handyman Special / Wanderer's Dream" (1992) (with Dixie Browning, Pamela Browning)

As Tira Lacy

ingle novels

*"With time and tenderness" (1983)
*"Only for love" (1984)

As Rita Clay Estrada

Will and the Way Series

#"Will and the Way" (1985)
#"A Woman's Choice" (1985)
#"Something to Treasure" (1986)

Western Lovers: Ranchin' Dads Series Multi-Author

:15. "The Best Things in Life" (1986)

Montclair Emeralds Multi-Author

:3. "Trust" (1988)

Bartholomew Family Saga

#"Second to None" (1989)
#"The Lady Says No" (1991)

Lost Loves Series Multi-Author

:3. "Forms of Love" (1994)

The Wrong Bed Series Multi-Author

:4. "Love Me, Love My Bed" (1996)

Rebels & Rogues Multi-Author

*"The Stormchaser" (1996)

Gallagher Sisters Saga

#"Wishes" (1997)
#"Dreams" (1998)
#"Everything About Him" (1998)

Bachelor Auction Series Multi-Author

*"One Wild Weekend" (1999)

ingle novels

*"The Ivory Key" (1987)
*"A Little Magic" (1987)
*"To Buy a Groom" (1990)
*"Twice Loved" (1991)
*"One More Time" (1993)
*"The Colonel's Daughter" (1993)
*"Interlude in Time" (1994)
*"The Twelve Gifts of Christmas" (1994)
*"Million Dollar Valentine" (2000)
*"Blissful" (2000)
*"Too Wicked to Love" (2001)

Omnibus in collaboration

*"To Have and to Hold" (1992) (with Sandra James, Debbie Macomber and Barbara Bretton)
*"Conveniently Yours" (1994) (with Sally Bradford and Bobby Hutchinson)
*"Expecting!" (1996) (with Barbara Delinsky and Michelle Reid)
*"Bedazzled" (2002) (with Jayne Ann Krentz and Vicki Lewis Thompson)

Non fiction

*"Writing Romances" (1997) (with Rita Gallagher)
*"You Can Write a Romance" (1999) (with Rita Gallagher)

ee also

*List of romantic novelists


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