Episode 13: Welcome to the Equestrian Author Spotlight podcast! In each episode, you’ll hear inspirational stories from horse book authors including writing advice and marketing tips to help you write your own horse book. If you are an author, aspire to be an author, or simply love horse books then you are in the right place!
In this week's episode, you'll meet Equine Author Autumn Murray. You'll learn ...
Watch Autumn Murray's Interview on YouTube
Listen to the Audio Only Version
About Author Autumn Murray
Autumn Murray began writing for fun at the age of 6 and has been writing professionally part time for the past seven years. Growing up on a small ruggedly landscaped island has given Autumn the perfect setting in which to place the lives of her characters. She's been riding since age 5 and has a very cheeky mare who keeps her on her toes! Her debut novel, Circlet of Orchids, tells her own love story of meeting the man and horse of her dreams! They both inspire her to write with their love, devotion and memorable moments.
Autumn Murray Interview Excerpt
Carly: What might a reader be surprised to learn about you?
Autumn: I’m dyslexic, so if Ivy, the protagonist who is also a writer. Her challenge and how she overcomes it is based on mine and is explained in the book. As I child, I was told I would never go to University or be a writer and yet through determination and creative strategies, I’ve been able to do both. One of the reasons I wrote this novel was to inspire other writers with challenges to pursue writing no matter what limitations people try to put on them.
Carly: What excites you about writing horse books?
Autumn: The fact that I get to connect with readers who are passionate about the same thing as me, but also to provide reading material that I wished I had found when I was growing up. My Dad used to read the Thoroughbred Series to me and then as I got older I read emotional romance novels, as I’m not into the steamy ones myself and I couldn’t find much out there. Now I’m super glad to be part of a community of Equestrian authors like yourself who offer a myriad of novels like mine to horse crazy readers who believe in true love.
Carly: Circlet of Orchids is your debut novel and is inspired by your real life second chance love. Tell us about your book.
Autumn: If I had to summarize it, I would say that it would only really appeal to the reader that enjoys quick, heart-wrenching yet heartwarming, quirky, witty reads. I based all of the characters, human and equine, based off real life beings who have impacted my life and left a lasting impression. There are a lot of edge of your seat moments, lots of quippy banter and some eccentric characters. Just like real life, there are some frustrating moments too.
Carly: Do you have any stories that people would find interesting or entertaining about writing this book?
Autumn: I included a scene based off a real friend of mine who accidentally punched me in the face. He and Max had to bring me to my Dad’s house and present him with his teenaged, drunken, daughter bleeding from the nose. They were both absolutely petrified. At our wedding my Dad had to present us the rings with this friend and I think he was still scared. When writing the book, I made sure to make it clear that this character has many admirable qualities which my friend also possesses so that he doesn’t hate me when he reads the book.
Carly: What was your inspiration for the horse(s) in your book?
Autumn: All four of the horses I’ve owned for sure. Ceol, the main mare is a combo of my current mare and my second. Deputy Turn N Burn is much like my first mare and Peps Blue Ribbon, like my Mustang Gelding. I’ve always gravitated toward the horses that are labeled as ‘dangerous’ for some reason. The real life version of Pep’s name was Pepper and while as steady as Peps is in the novel, had a scary side. He was proud cut and had been a wild horse until I got him when I was only 13 so while I could train out a lot of his wildness, he would attack any male person who went in his paddock.
Carly: Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Autumn: Yes! There is a quote I wrote when I rescued my current mare… "Have faith in the troubled for beneath may be a remarkable soul just waiting to emerge."
As much as this is true of our equine and canine rescues, it is also true for ourselves. In the novel, readers will see pretty quickly the turmoil Ivy deals with inside. These are things that I’ve always struggled with and many of us have: Social anxiety, self-doubt, poor communication, defensiveness, etc…and while it’s easy to focus on the areas that can be improved with ourselves, others and our animals, what I’ve found even more effective is to look for the remarkable qualities within and work on bringing those to the surface.
This is something I’ve always done in my horse, llama and dog training and now finally, after 36 years, with myself. Readers will see this clearly with Ivy and her horse and I hope it inspires them to apply this to themselves, other humans and animals as well.
There are so many animals and people I’ve know written off, euthanized, disowned, etc… when this approach could have potentially could have given them a chance at life of connection, joy and love.
Carly: What brought you to writing and are you working on another book now?
Autumn: Writing was a way for me to deal with my emotions growing up and continues to do so. I’m considering doing a series taking characters from Circlet of Orchids and telling their story. I would love to know which characters fans would like to read about.
Carly: You write under a pen name. Tell us how you choose the name and what inspired it.
Autumn: My Grandma was Irish and Scottish and her surname was Murray. Her mother was a nationally award-winning author and watching my grandma’s passion for writing inspired me to write. I guess I’m basic because autumn is my favourite season. It also happens to be when my birthday takes place and my favourite time of year to go trail riding because of the gorgeous colors, lack of bugs and perfect temperature.
Carly: You have tattoos dedicated to your ancestry, your love of writing and horses. Can we see them?
Autumn: Yes! I'll send you the pictures. (Autumn details the meaning of and inspiration for her tattoos during the podcast interview.)
Carly: Which do you prefer independent or traditional publishing?
Autumn: I prefer independent publishing because I like to be in control of the material I produce. However, I’m considering turning Circlet of Orchids into a screenplay as there has been some potential interest, so I may end up having to let go of the control a bit.
Carly: Do you have any writing rituals or routines?
Autumn: Yes, and Ivy has the same ones in the book. I like to write in the forest if possible, and if not, put on some forest sounds, drink some tea and have our dog beside me for moral support.
Carly: What is your favorite book marketing tool? How do you reach your readers?
Autumn: I have found that word of mouth has been the best. I have a full-time job and honestly haven’t had time to market it. I believe that those who are meant to read it will find it.
Carly: What is the hardest part about being an author?
Autumn: Promoting your work. I’ve been doing marketing for a living for many years and find it easy to promote others products and services, but marketing myself feels more vulnerable somehow.
Carly: What is the best part about being an author?
Autumn: Being able to reach the hearts of people you would never meet. It brings me great joy to know I’ve made someone laugh, smile or even cry (but in a good way) by the simple act of sharing words. It’s pretty amazing really.
Carly: What are you curious about right now?
Autumn: Learning about screenplay writing. It’s so technically different. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to exploring.
Also, my mare and I are working on conditioning for jumping again after a long hiatus. If readers have any tips for this, references to articles, they can feel free to send them my way.
The podcast I used when writing my novel was "Writing Excuses" and the youtube channel was this one: www.youtube.com/user/KMWeiland
Carly: Is there anything I should have asked, but didn’t?
Autumn: If real life Max is as hot as he is in the book. The answer is he's hotter. Smile.
Connect with Autumn Murray
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Murray
Watch the Circlet of Orchids Book Trailer
What a spur jingling author interview!
I learn so much from other equine authors and appreciate how unique each of our writing journeys are. I love that all the authors featured in this series are linked through our creativity, passion for writing, and love of horses. I think it is so important to support each other. I appreciate the support of a fellow author. Thank you for giving me the gift of your time, Autumn! #authorsunite
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Want to be a Podcast Guest?
I LOVE HORSE BOOKS! If you are an author who writes about horses and would like to be spotlighted let me know. I’d be happy to include you, too. Sharing about fellow horse book authors makes my spurs jingle! Visit my contact page at https://www.carlykadecreative.com/contact.html to fill out a request.
About Your Host and Author Carly Kade
Carly Kade is an award-winning equestrian author and the host of the Equestrian Author Spotlight podcast. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle! She writes fiction about horses, horse shows, Western pleasure and a handsome cowboy or two. Her books are for people just like her — crazy about reading, horses and cute cowboys!
In the Reins, the first in Carly's series of novels inspired by the equestrian lifestyle, has been an Amazon best seller for more than 10 weeks, is an EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner for Best Western Fiction and has earned two Feathered Quill Book Awards in the Romance and Adult Book featuring Animals categories. The In the Reins equestrian romance series is available now in Audiobook, Paperback and eBook on Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks and Kobo.
Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
Books by Carly Kade