“Jacquelyn Heat” is Rita Kelly’s derby moniker. Rita has been involved in derby since 2009, starting with Philly Roller Derby and later moving to Brandywine Roller Derby. She was a bit of a pioneer as the first openly transgender member of each league.
In addition to playing as a skater, Rita has been an official, served on BRD’s leadership board, was captain of the Brandywine Brawlers in 2015, and has occasionally filled the roles of bench manager and bench coach. In 2017, Rita took a step back from derby due to difficulties caused by a worsening chronic condition (POTS).
Outside of derby and fiction, Rita has been known to write songs and perform occasionally as a rock frontwoman. She’s also dabbled in public speaking on trans issues. And as a natural jack-of-all-trades, she’s amassed an eclectic variety of hobbies. Kat & Mouse is Rita’s first major work as an author.
By day, Rita works in a clerical support role at a psychiatric facility. Rita herself lives with depression and anxiety and believes strongly in visibility as a means of fighting the stigmas surrounding mental illness.