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Above The Fold - October 1, 2016

Acclaimed Author, Editor, & Community Leader

In Rita's Own Words:

"I have been a free-lance writer, editor, and lecturer for more than 40 years. My most recent book "Parallel Lives" (2016) is a memoir of living in London during the Blitz of World War 2. Previous to that I published "The Key" (2014), a mystery-romance set in Chapel Hill, NC but I named the town Tappell Hill. Other books are "The Dating Adventures of a Widow" and "Still Hopping, Still Hoping", a biography of Carla Shuford, (2012) Righter Publishing Co. "The A-Z of Writing & Selling", a reference book for writers appeared in 1981(Moore Publishing Co,). My work has appeared in more than 500 feature, travel,business and trade articles, and newspaper columns, for diverse publications in the United States and Great Britain.

I edited "The Criminal Justice System and A View From the Bottom," by Joseph A. Marro, now available on Amazon and Kindle.

I was born in London, England but made Chapel Hill, North Carolina my home for almost 40 years until moving to Mebane 3 years ago. Recently I was thrilled to learn that the Chapel Hill Magazine awarded me a Silver category in the Author section of the Best of Chapel Hill,2014. In 2011 I was recognized as a "Town Treasure" by the town of Chapel Hill and previously had been named a "Hometown Hero" for my community and volunteer service.

In Mebane, my volunteer work extends to being President of the Ashbury Crossing Cottages Homeowners Association, and joyfully serving as a writing coach at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School for first-graders."

To learn more about Rita, visit:


Parallel Lives
(Rita Berman)

Official Apex Reviews Interview: Rita Berman (Parallel Lives)

Apex Reviews: Thanks for joining us for this interview, Rita. We're looking forward to sharing more about your book and other efforts with our readers.

What inspired you to craft this rather gripping memoir of life in war-torn Europe?

Rita Berman: For Father's Day this year, I wrote about my childhood of living in London during WW2 and my father's activities in the Home Guard. One of my cousins read my piece and sent me his memory of those war-time years. I decided to contact other cousins and produce a book.

AR: What's the significance of the book's title?

RB: It refers to cousin Gerry's observation that while we had led parallel lives in the 1940's - as adults we are now scattered around the world.

AR: How did your family originally end up in England?

RB: They fled from Russia and Poland when the Jews were persecuted. My mother's father, a blacksmith, escaped conscription into the Russian Army. My father's mother got to London after hitchhiking cattle trucks on the railways. She bought a sewing machine and started a business - all before the age of 18.

AR: What kind of impact did food rationing and constant evacuations have on you as a child?

RB: I was hungry. I ate sandwiches of bread and mashed potatoes. I missed playing with my friends because of the evacuation.

AR: Why were your grandparents' house and factory bombed?

RB: It was Hitler's intent to conquer England. My grandparents were among thousands of civilians who had their home or business destroyed.

AR: What's your most salient memory of life in Europe during World War II?

RB: I remember vividly walking by a building that was on fire and being told to "get back." Hearing thunder still takes me back to the sound of anti-aircraft guns.

AR: How have readers reacted to the book thus far?

RB: Book still in press but my conversations with friends or acquaintances has me thinking it will be of great interest. Naturally it has genealogical interest to my cousins and their families.

AR: Please share more with our readers about your other writings.

RB: I have been a freelance writer for more than 45 years and published hundreds of articles in American and British magazines on subjects as diverse as business, education, real estate, travel, raising children.

AR: What are your future writing plans?

RB: I'm planning to go on an Elderhostel program in the Fall. I'll write about that.

AR: In addition to being an author, you're also a dedicated community volunteer. Please share more with our readers about your endeavors in that field.

RB: I have spent many years serving on town boards and organizations. Knowledge of accounting and budgeting has been useful when serving on Homeowner Association Boards. Most rewarding is working as a volunteer for local schools, at various grade levels. For the past 3 years I have been a writing coach for first grade students. These very young students benefit from working one on one - and I enjoy seeing them develop.

AR: How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?

RB: Check out my website,, and my author page on

AR: How can they contact you directly?

RB: By e-mail:

AR: Any final thoughts you'd like to share?

RB: I come from immigrant families who didn't know English but started a couple of businesses. Later their children too worked in those businesses. But not the third or fourth generations. They got educated and had the opportunity to select professional careers, not service jobs.

AR: Thanks again, Rita, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!