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Rich, Rhonda

RICH, Rhonda

PERSONAL: Daughter of Ralph (a Baptist minister) and Bonelle.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author's Mail HarperCollins publishers, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Listen Up! designation from Publishers Weekly, for audio version of What Southern Women Know, 1999.


What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should): Timeless Secrets to Get Everything You Want in Love, Life, and Work, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

My Life in the Pits: Living and Learning on the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS: Ronda Rich is a trailblazer as one of America's first female sports reporters. As an award-winning journalist, she covered NASCAR Winston Cup racing and then served as a Winston Cup Series publicist for years. A popular public speaker, Rich has appeared on dozens of television shows.

Rich's first book, titled What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should): Timeless Secrets to Get Everything You Want in Life, Love, and Work, is lighthearted in tone yet serious in message. And it was the brain-child of her agent. "You're so charming. If you could find a way to package that, I think a lot of people would like to read it." He was right; the book quickly went into a fourth printing and was bought by Doubleday to be offered in their book-of-the-month club.

What Southern Women Know is a primer on charm, etiquette, and hospitality, courtesy of The South. "Southern women are special. The threads of commonality are woven throughout the South and its women, and expressed in the awe, pride, and appreciation in my book. There are those who would call these women the heart of all things Southern. But they are much more than that—these women are the magnolia-scented breath which sustain the life of the South," explains the author on her Web site. Her book covers topics such as how to keep your man satisfied, how to keep your home beautiful, how to get what you want and still be boss. In an interview with Joyce Dixon of Southern Scribe, Rich answered the question, "How do Southern wives keep their men happy and in line?" Her response was, "Southern women are very dedicated to the art of traditional homemaking, but not at the sacrifice of careers. Still, we flaunt beautiful lingerie and we care deeply about how we look, even long after we marry. Southern women are incredible in their dedication to looking good for their men."

Rich's second book, My Life in the Pits: Living and Learning on the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit, is a treatise on stock-car racing, a sport that has enjoyed a growing popularity over the past twenty years. Rich's career as a sports journalist gives her an insider's view, and she shares her knowledge with humor and discretion. A review in Publishers Weekly complained about Rich's failure to address the very real issue of racism in stock-car racing. "Readers are told that NASCAR is the most popular sport in the U.S. but, considering its Southern origins, it seems a little odd that the circuit has fewer black participants than hockey. Unfortunately, Rich never attempts to interpret such anomalies. . . . Rich most certainly has a great NASCAR book in her. This just isn't it."

A critic for the New York Times deemed the book "a gossipy, sentimental, woman's-eye view, [that] manages to both celebrate and demystify the macho preserve . . . vivid, provocative, yet curiously discreet." Godwin Kelly, editor of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, wrote, "For the most part, 'My Life in the Pits,' is a delightful, name-dropping romp through the garage area. Rich gives racing a new face and exposes the true nature of the sport from a woman's perspective."



Publishers Weekly, September 13, 1999, review of What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should): Timeless Secrets to Get Everything You Want in Love, Life, and Work.


Daily Beacon, (September 6, 2002), Christy Britton, "Book Reveals Secrets of Southern Charm."

Southern Scribe, (September 6, 2002), "Southern Women: An Interview with Ronda."

What Southern Women Know, http://www.what (December 16, 2002).*

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