Sunday, April 24, 2011
Interview with Author Jennifer Walker
Hello Jennifer. Welcome back to my blog once again. Please tell us about your new book.
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.