by Lisa Wysocky
Writing about horses is a lot like giving riding lessons. Both make me think through a sequence of events. Both, over time, require me to achieve progression, and both allow me some creative freedom.
If a rider has trouble keeping her heels down, I might instead ask her to point her toes to the sky. Trouble posting the trot? Try a two-point, then dropping into the saddle before bouncing up, rather than sitting and then trying to get up. If a fictional character needs a new horse, I can invent a way to put the perfect equine into the story. Or, I can find a creative way to give a horse an interesting character quirk that ties into the plot.
I am currently finishing my third equestrian mystery (The Fame Equation, fall 2015). It has been wonderful to reconnect with my characters and help them problem solve through another murder. My characters also help stretch me out of my equine comfort zone from time to time, so it has become an educational process, too.
Why would an otherwise healthy horse blow bubbles in a water bucket, or lie in an odd position? What does a circling behavior in the pasture really mean? Those and a thousand other questions have to be researched and solidified in my mind before I can distill it down to a sentence or two, and still make it interesting for the non-horsey reader.
I research everything, even things I “know,” just to be sure. For the most part I am right, but the research often broadens my scope of knowledge, or adds one new bit of information that I can then use to move the story along.
When I finish this last edit of The Fame Equation, I will once again lose that intimate connection that an author has with her characters. Fortunately, my Cat Enright mysteries are a series, and I will soon enough be able to pick up the connection with them in a new adventure.
I have been fortunate that my series has won a number of awards, and thrilled that it has been optioned for film and television (fingers crossed). But, the mechanics of writing it have made me a better riding instructor, and have made me a better horse person.
In preparation for the fall release of The Fame Equation, my publisher has agreed to send readers of this blog a digital kindle or epub file of the first two books in the series, The Opium Equation, and The Magnum Equation. There are strings however (aren’t there always?)
1. The offer is only good through May 12, 2015
2. The publisher strongly hopes the reader will write an honest review on Amazon.com, BN.com, Goodreads.com
3. The files must not be shared with anyone else
I am thrilled with this offer, and hope you will be, too. To request your files, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the file format that you need.
Until next time: happy reading!