Sunday, April 24, 2011

Interview with Author Jennifer Walker

Jennifer Walker is a full-time freelance writer, editor and novelist. She has been published in numerous magazines and websites, and Bubba to the Rescue is the sequel to her first book, Bubba Goes National, which was released in 2010. She owns some beautiful Arabian horses and enjoys writing about her first love… horses! She also has other interests besides horses. Jennifer is a professional ballroom dance instructor.

Hello Jennifer. Welcome back to my blog once again. Please tell us about your new book.

What starts out as a leisurely trail ride turns into a terrifying afternoon when Alex and Leslie see a plume of smoke rising in the trees. After saving the neighbor's horses from a horrible fate, the two teens must run through the burning woods and get back to Green Meadow before it's too late. On the way, they encounter a strange horse wandering through the woods by itself, and it follows them home. Leslie soon becomes attached to "Spark" when she can't find his owner...but will she get to keep him, or will someone come forward to claim the horse she has come to love?

Readers of Bubba to the Rescue will enjoy an exciting story, but they will also learn about the care and showing of horses while they read about Leslie's adventures. Bubba to the Rescue is the second of the Riders of Green Meadow series, which will showcase horses that are unwanted by one person but are another's dream come true. This installment also digs into the problems that today's teenagers face, like boyfriend troubles and a widowed father who remarries.

I know you love horses very much. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

If you poll horse owners about what they fear the most, fire will be one of the top answers. We hate it, horses hate it, and wooden barns full of hay are like gigantic matches. On top of that, a lot of horse people live in the country, which means forest fires are always a worry during the dry season. I have been involved in two fire evacuations, and it is scary stuff. I thought it would make an exciting opener for this story.

I always brainstorm my story ideas with my husband (Greg Walker Blogspot) and my mentor (Michelle Devon). Coming up with the ideas is actually my weak point, so they help me come up with great plot lines and dig me out when I get stuck.

Wow! Now that’s real support. What is the difference from a purebred Arabian horse and other horses? Do they have a longer endurance?

There are lots of differences between Arabians and other breeds—they are beautiful, refined and tend to be good at a lot of different things. They tend to have wonderfully personable dispositions (I wrote an article about that here); there is a legend that the Bedouins of Arabia used to keep their most prized horses in the tent with them. While they are able to do pretty much any discipline (the ones in Bubba Goes National and Bubba to the Rescue do Saddle Seat, which is a type of English riding), they are well known for excelling at endurance riding, which is trail riding distances of 25 miles or more. If you look at the results for the Western States Trail Foundation Tevis Cup, which is one of the most grueling and prestigious endurance rides in the country, you will see that the majority of finishers are Arabians. 

Thank you. I was wondering about that. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Most of this came from my experience owning horses and working for horse trainers, where I’ve had to take care of a lot of different types of injuries. While I’m by no means an expert, it was a good starting point. Since there were some serious injuries in this book, I had my veterinarian, Linda Lauper of H.A.P.P.E.E. Horses, Inc., read the book to make sure I got all the medical parts right. I’m happy to say she only made minor changes! 

This next question can be a fun one. Have you had any amusing or unusual experiences in your life that you would like to tell us about?

Here’s an amusing experience from my childhood horse show days. I was getting ready to ride into an equitation class, which is judged on the rider and you’re expected to be sparkling clean and perfect from head to toe. I was riding toward the in-gate when my horse spooked at an empty puddle (no water, just the indentation in the dirt). He jumped to the side and I didn’t…meaning I hit the dirt in my sparkling clean show clothes.

Before I knew what was happening, four horse show moms (none of which were mine) had me brushed off and back on my horse. I trotted in the gate just in time to make the class and won first place. My mom told me later she had no idea what happened. She was waiting inside to watch the class, and she kept wondering what took me so long to get in there!

What a wonderful story! And you won first place after your little accident! Awesome! Thanks, Jennifer, for this fun interview.


Cheryl said...

Wow! This sounds like a great book. Awesome way to turn your real life experiences into a book.

Thanks for the chance to win.



Kat said...

Great interview! My daughter loves to read books about horses and I would love to win it for her! It sounds like a very interesting book!
katsaddress (at) gmail (dot) com

karenk said...

this sounds like a wonderful story...thanks for the chance to read it :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

please include me in this giveaway.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Meredith said...

Love the story about your win! And kudos for those moms for jumping in to help!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Beth Thomas said...

I as an adult enjoyed Jennier;s first book and I am looking forward to reading more about Bubba and his adventures! This new book does address some of the problems and fears of owning horses.

Melanie Ski said...

I will have to find the first book in the series, sounds great even for an adult. I would love to win this second book.

Shawna said...

I loved horse books as a child and still do. I'm sure my daughter will follow in those same footsteps. I'll have to look for the first book as well.

anmlvrami at yahoo dot com

Mozi Esmé said...

Looks interesting!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

My Hyer Space said...

Enjoyed your interview. Would love to read your book. thanks. agent3547ataoldotcom

ac said...

This book sounds so exciting! I would totally love to read this and it sounds like one I would definitely share with others. Thanks for the chance to win it.

George Amos said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. It reminds me of Hidalgo in the movie racing across the desert. I think it was an Arabian horse, too. Thanks for sharing your talent.

Judy said...

I really enjoyed the interview. Your book really looks interesting. We had horses when my 2 children were teenagers, but now they have went different directions with their work, it was just too much for us to take care of them. I really enjoyed them, we had a paint named Blue and he was a darling!!!


Diana said...

Thank you for another great giveaway!
I grew up on a farm with cattle, but sometimes we would let other people field their horses on our land. Also there were horses in the neighboring fields and as a little girl I would take them apples at the fence line and give them hugs and kisses.


Martha Lawson said...

Love anything to do with horses!!! Please enter me for this one.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Starr Williams said...

Linda, My granddaughter and I met you at the Fairborn, OH library. I have never signed up for one of your book giveaways but this particular one caught my eye. I'd like to read it myself as well as have my oldest granddaughter read it. I love horses and helped to care for an Arabian and two other horses several years ago and I can hardly say what special emotions I felt. It was for me and another friend who helped, a labor of love for both of us. The teenager in the book makes me think of my teenage granddaughters. Even if I don't receive the book as a "giveaway", I'll try to find it at our library.

Hope all is well for you. I enjoyed your workshop!

Starr Williams

Barb Shelton said...

Great Interview, Jennifer. Horses are one of my favorite animals. I've been known to ride one or two in my past. Your book is an inviting read to adults as well as youth; I have grandkids and great-grandkids that would love it. I appreciate you offering this book as a giveaway and to Linda for the opportunity to win it. I hope I win!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Melanie Ski! You are the winner of this wonderful horse book. I know you'll enjoy it. Thank you, everyone for visiting my blog. Don't forget to come back and visit every Monday to see what new book will be given away. All the books on this blog are "Family Friendly."