Monday, July 21, 2014

Interview with Rita Stella Galieh

Today, I am delighted to introduce my friend and fellow Australian author, Rita Stella Galieh. Writing historical Australian fiction isn't her only talent. I caught up with Rita and asked her a few questions.

1) Would you please tell us a bit about your radio program? Where does it broadcast and what topics do you address?
Thanks for your invitation, Paula. I am happy to be a guest on your interesting and often indepth blog. My husband and I both script and co-present on Vantage Point, a five minute program broadcast through out Australia in every state except NT. We speak on a variety of topics eg. God's GPS, Age of Indiscretion, Under Construction, Who Can You Trust?, Self Harm, Whose Power? Is That All there Is? Then we lead into what God says/Jesus is the answer, and offer booklets.

2) Your inspirational romance blog is full of true stories, many written by people about when they first met their spouses. How did you come to choose this theme?

Like me, I guess most women have an inbuilt desire to experience romance and I wanted to share stories of how God was involved in men & women finding their life's partners. Also I blog on any snippets of marital advice etc. If any of your visiters would like to share their story they can email me:  ritagal (at) optusnet (dot) com (dot) au

(I've been touched entertained several times. Here is Rita's blog .)

Signed Sealed Delivered3) Each year, you and your husband minister in Thailand to Buddhist schools, prisons, hospitals and churches. Do you return to the same places? And what does a typical day look like?

We love the Thais and each year look forward to our month-long ministry there. Sometimes we make return visits. Yet even after twenty years we're going to new places. Hah! No day is typical, we've learned that! The very first time we arrived and very jetlagged after bedding down at midnight, we left at 5am and took 5 services indifferent places. Our homebase is Bangkok where we stay with our evangelist/interpreter, Somchai & Saethong, his wife. We're accepted in these places because my artwork accompanies George's messages. And they love his upbeat violin playing.

(Wow, your energy is just astounding. They sound like amazing presentations, with the combination of art and music included.)

4) One of the things I love most about your colonial novels is the inclusion of famous historical figures in the plots. A.B. (Banjo) Paterson made a cameo appearance in ‘Fire in the Rock’, and you had Caroline Chisholm in ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered.’ Did you have to research their dates and movements carefully to weave them into your stories?

Thank you for that, Paula. I think having such personalities in cameo roles makes the story ring true and research is necessary if you write in the historical genre.

(Fire in the Rock was one my of my favourite colonial stories the year I read it.)

Fire in the Rock5) Your most recent Australian historical novel has been accepted by an agent in the United States. Congratulations on the exciting news. Can you tell us more about this?

You know the old adage, 'overnight success' (after you've slogged away for years.) I tried agent after agent but only received a form "not what we're wanting at this time" reply. After much praying and wondering if I'd ever find a home, I found an agent I'd never heard of before and she showed such great enthusiasm. Oh, at last, somebody liked my writing! She gave it to ten well known publishers at the ECPA who requested my Book Proposal. Then she said our part is over. Now we wait on "publisher time" which is usually six months before hearing a yea or nay! 

(Publisher time! I like that. To us, it seems up there with the formation of glaciers. To any publishers reading this, we guess how rushed and inundated you must really feel.)

6) Please tempt us with a description of the new book, ‘The Testing of Taylor Jones.’

I fumbled over titles before I asked 'What is it about anyway?' Then I had it. Its genre: Historical Romance with Quest Plot.
A venture into the unknown. A step of faith or an incalculable blunder?
Late 1890s: As members of a covert expedition in search of a creature thought extinct, Dr. Garrett Steele, veterinary professor of the New England Museum of Natural History and reporter, Miss Taylor Jones, are thrust to the limits of their courage and endurance in the rugged outback of Australia. He wants to make the find of the century and she determines to write an account to elevate her to a household name. When betrayed by a rogue team member, danger escalates their passionate clash of personalities into a relationship neither had bargained for. Will each find what they crave, or will they fail the final gut-wrenching challenge?

(I'm looking forward to reading it, as it sounds intriguing. I hope the cogs turn quickly and that we may have that pleasure some time soon.)

Rita has kindly offered to give away one copy of either 'Fire in the Rock' or 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' to one commenter, who will be chosen randomly. Please leave a way of getting in contact with you. 

Here are my reviews of Fire in the Rock and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. 

Rita Stella Galieh is a scriptwriter and co-presenter on Vantage Point, a 5 minute program broadcast throughout Australia. She has contributed to several US Anthologies by Adams Media and has two Historical Romances published by Ark House Press. Each year she and her husband minister in Buddhist Government schools, prisons, hospitals & churches in Thailand


  1. You are an interesting woman, Rita Stella Galieh. Love your enthusiasm and energy for what God calls you to do. Bless you!

    1. Oh, thank you, Andrea. It's a real joy to go through the doors the Lord opens. We depend on prayer supporters for health and strength while we're overseas, but I have to admit once that month is over we are a bit like wrung out rags on our return!

  2. Hi Rita,
    It was fascinating to hear about all the things you do - from radio broadcasts, to mission trips to writing historical fiction. Your books intriguing and I'm glad that Caroline Chisholm got a cameo appearance.

    1. Hi Jeanette,
      Yes, Carolyn was quite a lady!
      I'm so grateful to the Lord that He uses whatever gifts He gives us. I'm not a wonderful homemaker but I do try.

  3. Hi Andrea and Jeanette,
    She has lived (and is living) an intriguing life for sure. Thank you for visiting.

  4. Rita, I haven't been to Thailand in years, but it is a very special place. God bless your ministry.