In 1980 Rita graduated from Hofstra University, and then she pursued a master’s degree in creative writing at Queens College.
Rita developed her career as a writer of young-adult novels. In 1978 she wrote her first book "Blue Tights", and it took her about ten years to publish it. While she worked on the book, revising and collating the stories she had assembled from her own life and the lives of her reading students, she went to work for a marketing company in Manhattan, churning out manuscripts on an old typewriter in the company mailroom. Williams-Garcia put the manuscript away after three years of marketing it unsuccessfully.
She continued to write and submit stories during the 1980s until her job was cut in a company restructuring. Her second book "Fast Talk on a Slow Track" won as much attention from reviewers as "Blue Tights" had. Currently, Rita is the author of nine novels for young adults and middle grade readers.
Quotations: “I really don’t think we deal with the complex issues of our young people’s lives. We tell them about racism and those kinds of things...but then there’s that real person who has to deal with the fact that he is not a symbol, he is not a model, he is a real, flesh-and-blood person who makes mistakes and has to keep moving and learning and accepting all these things as part of life...It’s what you come to know about yourself that is more important than any big thing that might happen to you.”
Rita is married to Peter Garcia, with whom she has two daughters: Michelle and Stephanie Garcia.