Third Person POV Past Tense
One more quick question about 3rd person POV past tense. When describing the action, I know that everything is past tense. However, I'm getting a little mixed up on what happens when describing a person. For example if I'm introducing new character, Rita Henry sauntered into the library and blended into the crowd undetected. She WAS an exquisite woman with a long, lean body; she had the agility of a cat. Or is it She IS an exquisite woman...? Is it Rita IS Jonathan's cousin on his father's side? Or Rita WAS Jonathan's cousin...?
Suddenly I felt unsure about this.
"Was" is correct. Just remember that the narrator is telling events that, to him/her/it, have already happened. You're describing how the person looked/was at the time the story took place.
From the narrator's perspective, the story could easily have taken place centuries ago.
Even if you are using a character narrator, that person would still be telling events that have happened, therefore you use past tense.