Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I've written all my life for my job but got together with my best friend of 50 years a few years ago to write a series of novels about one of my passions, Arabian horses. We had our first book published Dec 2017, our second in Apr 2018 and our third in Jul 2018. We are currently working on our fourth, planning our fifth and sixth for 2019. I've had Arabian horses for 30 years and wanted to write about them when we had our own training barn a few years ago with many young people showing their own horses. They gave us a lot of material to write about, many loving relationships between young people and their horses.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Our most current book is Desperado – Wonder Horse Book Three. We decided our protagonist for this book would be a bit of a rascal, as opposed to our first book, Prince Ali and our second book, La Duquesa. Ali was always the gentleman and Quesa was a duchess so we needed the rascal in the mix because our horses all know each other and interact with each other. It was a fun book to write because we got to give him fun things to do and he could think differently than his predecessors.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nancy and I live 100 miles apart so we spend hours talking about our books on the phone. We plot our books, describe our characters and the others who appear in our stories in complete detail before we begin writing. We do a chapter outline first, adjust it as necessary, then the writing begins. We ship chapters back and forth via email to each other (which we even did while Nancy and her husband were on vacation in Spain), until we're happy with the book. We give it to two Beta readers we trust and let them tell us where the book lags or has content they find objectionable for younger readers before we submit our manuscripts to our publisher.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many I couldn't begin to list them all. We're both avid readers. My mom taught me to read at age 3. I loved Black Beauty which I read when I was 5. Rita Mae Brown allows her animals to talk. We found our work came alive when we gave our horses a voice of their own. They don't talk to people, just other animals and it gives us an opportunity to bring out their character and their story better when they speak for themselves.
What are you working on now?
We are working on the fourth book in our series, Desert Rose, who is the beloved horse of our final young person in the series who will participate in all future books. Desert Rose is a Half Arabian cowgirl.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
We participate in the Home Reads program, we have our own website (www.wonderhorsebooks.com) and an author's page on Facebook (@WonderHorseBooks). We use LinkedIn and Instagram and we use the Authormasterminds.com website set up for authors by our publisher.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don't give up! Keep at it until you are happy with your book. Give it to beta readers you trust to help you tighten it up. Use Grammarly versus spellcheck and have an editor go over your work with you. Above all, Don't Give Up!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Use a professional Editor and spend a minimum of 2 hours a day after your book is published to promote it. Use social media. Use a website. List your book with every online site you can.
What are you reading now?
I am re-reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I've read the book before but there is something about the way he writes that pulls me into 12th century England. I enjoy his characters and the intrigues of the time. It's relaxing for me to step into that world for a while before coming back into mine.
What’s next for you as a writer?
We plan to continue our series. We're always talking to people about their horses and the back story of their horse. That's where we get the best ideas for new books.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Probably my favorite series was the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel. I loved the prehistory story of her protagonist. What I didn't like was the graphic sex. I think people have better imaginations than any writer and some things should be left to the reader's imagination.