Character Column: Meet Rita Monette and ‘Nikki Landry’.

This week we welcome Rita Monette and her favourite character, Nikki Landry, star of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, to the Character Column. Thank you for joining us, Rita. Would you like to introduce Nikki, and tell us why she is so special to you?

The odds are against young Nikki Landry having any friends, what with her family moving several times a year. Just about the time she gets close to someone, Papa ends up pulling their houseboat to a new bayou because he’d heard the crabs were biting better there. At least she has her best friend Snooper, the beagle who’s always by her side.

I’ve known this character for a very long time. Nikki was once a real person dealing with the issues of moving, being bullied, always trying to catch up on her ever-changing school curriculum. Now she lives again in The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, as her story revisits the 1950s. And this time, she is much braver and adventurous.

Even though her father always knows best when it comes to dealing with the school bully, Nikki finds her own way. And even though Papa knows everything that might be living in a nearby swamp, Nikki disobeys him—despite the consequence—in order to save her dog…and to learn the truth behind the legend.

Nikky Landry (Rita at 10 years old).

Nikky Landry (Rita at 10 years old).

About the Author

Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and paint. Five long years later, Musa Publishing offered her a contract for her debut middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, which also includes her artwork. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. Rita now lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.

Rita Monette

Rita Monette

Wishing you all the best success with The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, Rita and Nikki.

You can watch a trailer for The Legend of Ghost Dog Island here.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is available from Musa Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You can stay in touch with Rita and her books at her website, her blog, facebook and twitter.

Book Cover


8 thoughts on “Character Column: Meet Rita Monette and ‘Nikki Landry’.

  1. That Nikki is one strong gal, Rita! Love that you added a four-legged best friend for her too! I can’t imagine a world without dogs! Cheers to a wonderul, nostalgic read, and wishing you all the best in your writing and painting career!


  2. You’ve created a very sympathetic character, with strong motivations, and it’s obvious that the details and situations arise from a reality with which you are very familiar. It gives the whole story a concrete, realistic feel!


  3. I’ve read this book and enjoyed it immensely. Rita weaves a great tale of mystery, danger, and friendship. Love that you shared the early photo, Rita. And I’m going to make a point of trying to locate you on my next visit to my relatives in Tennessee.


    • Rita, it’s been a pleasure to have you here. And from the above comments, it’s clear that you have created a wonderfully empathetic character in Jesse. Good luck with the books! 🙂


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