California

Horse Sluts & Candace Wade

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When you see a book titled, “Horse Sluts”, your ears immediately perk up – especially when you’re from the South! Candace Wade is a tenacious writer, an enthusiastic rider, a fun loving and energetic gal that I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy getting to know.

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Tell us what a typical day in your life is like:

My brain jangles with “What shall I write and where can I sell it?” If I have an assignment, it’s “How can I give them what they want and still sound like me?”  I’m a joyous and dedicated recreational rider – in my 60’s – with a high insurance deductable, so exercise is vital.  Riding-targeted exercise helps keep my body “riding ready.” Exercise focuses my brain. My daily trek to the gym is as “no excuses” as brushing my teeth.

 

I start writing by 9:30 a.m. This is my job. Discipline and organization is vital for me – much like the equestrian arts, right?  3:00 is quittin’ time. Brain fried — bum numb — the dog needs to walk, etc., etc., etc.

 

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Ex-Odysseo horse – my lesson horse, Quiebro – Spanish

How did you get started with horses?

The intro to my book Horse Sluts reveals that answer.  Okra is not a fair trade for abandoning orgasmic fresh croissants and authentic Chinese and Mexican food of San Francisco. I felt learning to ride would be a more regionally enriching pastime than swilling sweet tea given the massive life change of moving to Middle Tennessee.

Tell us about your horses and why you chose each of them:

I don’t own – I rent/take lessons.  I help other people pay their feed bills.  I’ll ride any horse that is sane and willing to put up with me. 

 

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Beginning polo lesson — Franklin Polo Academy

 

What impact have horses made on you as a writer?

Got an hour?  Discipline, health, sanity, of course.  But, the “are you kidding me” saga of learning to ride as an adult led to the book, Horse SlutsHorse Sluts was an entrée to magazine articles and the Equus Film Festival NYC.  A woman at the festival championed me as a candidate to write what turned out to be a series on the rescue and rehab of an ex-big lick Tennessee Walking Horse show horse. Theo, of “Saving Theo,” has been my inspiration, my teacher, my sacred duty, my beautiful boy. His story won me a WINNIE Award for writing at the EFF NYC. And, so it goes.

What made you want to be a writer?

(Shrug.)  Seemed like something I could do. I’m not an, “I always wanted to be a writer” or “It’s my passion.”  I do crave the constant honing of craft, the editing for quality, the limitless education.  To me, quality writing is vital for effective communication.  It is a duty.  Bad writing is an affront.

 

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Candace and Theo — picture courtesy of Ilona Gerou Lovely boy — TWH

 

What would you consider your biggest milestones so far as a rider and as a writer?

I did not give up last year when barn after barn, my riding resources closed down. After a series of sorrowful not-the-right-fit tries, I found riding nirvana. My instructor is taking me past the “adult rider” fears.  I am eager to learn to jump, to canter bare back, whatever she offers to me. I know I have improved and am thrilled to keep going.  As a writer, besides being entrusted with Theo?  Hmmm, I would say being willing to walk away from a $1000 article fee when too many of the “suggested” edits were stripping my voice from the piece – and I knew that the suggestions were pedestrian.  I was satisfied with the compromise in the end – and – cashed my check.

What is your latest writing project and what is the inspiration behind it?

Kudzu, a “fortified” non-fiction account of our new life in TN after 45 years of being forged (like steel) by liberal, diverse, environmentally dedicated, animal rights conscious California.

If you had to give one piece of advice to a beginning rider what would that be?

After finding a trainer who instructs in the way you process information?  Relax. Feel that you are the two extra legs in a six legged animal. Don’t watch cowboy movies – that’s not equitation.

What are some of your goals for the next year?

A story in the New York Times magazine.  A first draft of Kudzu that doesn’t make me cringe and scout for a job at Home Depot.  Jump a two foot oxer. Canter bare back without it being a monumental feat. Help get the PAST Act enacted.

For the writers out there who want to take their writing to the next level, what advice would you give them?

Read quality writing. Write, write, write.  Cut, cut, cut. Walk around inside your story. Get out of the way — too much voice is distracting.  If you have heard a phase used, don’t use it.

Any additional parting words of wisdom?

Rejoice the small successes. Rejoice at the journey.  The destination is just another destination.

Keep up with Candace…

Candace Wade

Los Angeles to San Francisco to Franklin, TN (since 1999)

www.candacewade.com

Horse Sluts – Facebook

Horse Sluts – The Saga of Two Women on the Trail of Their Yeehaw.  Amazon

 

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Chatting With Author Laura Crum

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This time I’m chatting with author Laura Crum who writes mysteries. If you love an authentic down to earth “who done it” that involves horses, then you’ll love Laura Crum’s books. Her years of experience in the horse industry have created some great stories that are difficult to put down for even just a little while!

Tell us a little bit about where you live and what your life is like. 
I live in the hills near California’s Monterey Bay on a very small horse ranch. I keep five horses here, also have a large garden and various other critters. All of my horses are getting older, my oldest horse is 34 and I have owned him for thirty years. I spend my time writing, reading, riding and taking care of family, critters, garden…etc.
Do you write full time or do you work in addition to writing?
I have been a full time writer for over twenty years. My first mystery, Cutter– involving the cutting horse world– was published by St Martin’s Press in 1994. Since then I have published a dozen books in my mystery series featuring equine veterinarian Gail McCarthy.
How do horses first into your life and how do they fit into your stories?
I spent my twenties training and competing on cowhorses and cutting horses and my thirties training and competing on team roping horses. I have owned horses non-stop for over forty years; I currently spend most of my horse time trail riding with my son. In my lifetime I have started well over a hundred colts, worked on commercial cattle ranches, as an assistant to professional trainers, and at a mountain pack station. All these experiences form the background of the books in my mystery series.
What genre do you write and why?
My books are mysteries, partly because I have always loved mysteries. More specifically, when I began writing, it was in an attempt to take my background in the western horse world and use it in the same way Dick Francis used his background as a steeplechase jockey to create his wonderful stories. I quite frankly set out to imitate him, because I loved his books so much, and I am never happier than when my novels are compared to his.
What makes your books different from other books in your genre? How do you think that has impacted the type of readers that you have?
I would say my books are a bit more honest and authentic than most of the horse themed books I’ve read. I would also say that they are a bit more personal than most of the mysteries I’ve read, and I’ve tried to weave into them my insights about life as well as horses. If I were to describe the series, I might say it is more or less a blend of memoir and mystery.
Tell us your favorite reader story where you met a fan. 
 can’t say that I have a favorite reader story. I do remember one woman who traveled across the state to meet me and then was bitterly disappointed that I wasn’t actually a vet myself. I also remember getting my hair trimmed (and looking less than elegant)…and the woman in the next chair recognized me and said, “Aren’t you Laura Crum?” I sort of wanted to deny it and slink away.
Do you have any special writing rituals? If so, how do you think it makes a difference in your writing?
No writing rituals. I just try very hard to make my deadlines. That’s what keeps me honest.
How can people learn more about you and your books?
All my books are on Amazon and available as Kindle editions. Type in Laura Crum and you’ll find all twelve, complete with reader reviews…etc. You can also go to lauracrum.com. And I write a weekly blog post on the Equestrian Ink blog.
Any parting words of wisdom to writers trying to get their book published?
I broke into traditional publishing over twenty years ago–things were very different then. One needed a literary agent for an editor to look at the ms, and self-publishing was a dirty word. Now with Amazon and Kindle, more and more writers are self-publishing and calling themselves “indie” authors and having success. So I really have no idea what approach I’d follow if I were starting today. The old wisdom of write the best and truest thing you can in your voice is probably still good advice.
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Next time we’ll be talking with western romance author Christina Cole! You won’t want to miss it!