We had the good fortune of connecting with Rita Goldner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rita, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had long been a fan of children’s literacy and children’s literature. Since I’m also passionate about drawing, I was a regular visitor at the zoo, sketching animals from life. Sketching the orangutans made me want to research their endangered status, Thus was born my first book, Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy. From there my agenda expanded to other “natural world” issues, and I wrote a book about a drop of water, and his adventures in a desert: Agent H2O Rides the Water Cycle. I predict that my future work will always focus on kid’s education.
What should our readers know about your business?
I came to my author/illustrator profession after 30-plus years In owning and operating another business, so I already appreciated the importance of organizational and marketing skills. That being said, I was hesitant to invest a lot of money, but since I was selling my business, I had the luxury of time, both to invest in perfecting my craft and marketing, and time to wait for a revenue stream.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My personal favorites are always based on nature, so I love hiking/painting in city parks, trails in the McDowell Mountain Preserve and the Mogollon Rim, I also frequent the 4 lakes along the Salt River: Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt. I have never personally rafted the lower Salt River, but I have had young guests (my adult kids, nieces and nephews) do that often. For a quicker trip and a shorter distance to drive, my family does a lot of kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding at Tempe Town Lake. I’ve also climbed to the tops of both Camelback and Piestewa Peak, and although I don’t intend to try again, I often send younger guests there. For lower-intensity fun, (before COVID-19 shut-downs) I took guests to the casinos at MacDowell Road and Talking Stick. Talking Stick also has a baseball field and a Top Golf driving range, and I have patronized both with out-of-town guests.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a world wide organization. I joined the Phoenix chapter very early in my pursuit of an author/illustrator career. I was able to access a network of classes, webinars, a yearly convention with opportunities to hear and meet agents and publishers, and a chance to meet other local authors and form small critique groups.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.