Episode 46: On Embracing Technology, Discovery Writing & Quarter Horses with Diane Maccani (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 46: 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 author and lifelong horsewoman Diane Maccani. You'll learn ...
Watch Diane Maccani's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only version.
Diane Maccani Podcast Interview Excerpt
Carly: Your What the Cowgirls Do! series includes 13 books. The characters in the series live in the modern west and they deal with problems facing those in the ranching and horse industry. 13 books is incredible! Let's talk a about your inspiration for this series.
Diane: It all got started when my daughters were teenagers at the time. They were 13 and 17, They were horse girls and they liked to read, but there
weren't a lot of good horse books at the time for kids that age. They were a little bit old for The Thoroughbred Series. A little bit old for The Saddle Club Series.
We have been showing for quite a while already then and I was out cleaning the barn one morning after they had gone to school ... this happened a lot with me, I got a lot of inspiration cleaning stalls. I thought we have so many good stories that have happened to us when we've been showing, so why don't i sit down and try and write a story for my girls. That's how I started writing. The characters and stories are fictitious, but they are based on real-life situations.
Carly: Completing 13 books is no small feat! How did you do it? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Diane: I just sat down in the mornings. My husband would go to work and I'd write for a little while, then I'd get the kids up for school and I'd write a little while. After they'd leave, I'd do my barn work, and then I'd write a little while, and so it went.
The funny thing is by the time I got done with the first book, I had an idea for the second one, and that's how it went. I finished one, and then I have an idea for another one. It went on through number 13. I took a break after book 13, but not purposely. I did have a number 14 started. In fact, I still have it started, but I just couldn't get going on that one. I'd put it away and I'd start again. I think it's probably because that's the book I had the most developed before I started.
I am a write by the seat of my pants author. I come up with a vague idea get some characters going and see where it takes me. A lot of the books took me in a totally different direction than I planned on. Things came into the story that I had never dreamed of when I came up with the idea and it just took me where it was going. The characters told me the story and I just typed.
Carly: I am exactly the same way. There are two types of authors it seems. There are the pantsers who write by the seat of our pants and we kind of turn our muse over to our characters to tell us what to do. I've also heard it called discovery writing. There's the plotters who outline their books, have the structure, and know where it's going. I believe that however creativity comes to you just have to run with it.
Diane: I agree. I've tried plotting, but I'm a better discovery writer. That's probably what my problem with book 14. It was the one I had the most plotted out and that's the one I never finished, but now I'm writing again.
Once I started publishing, I tried to write a book a year. I'd have them come out just before Christmas, so the people who were buying them could have them for Christmas presents.
Carly: I wanted to talk about your covers. As a horse girl, a Western pleasure lover, and Quarter Horse lover, your covers really speak to me. Talk about what inspired your covers?
Diane: I'll tell you about my publishing and my covers because they go together. I'm an independent author, but not the kind of self-published author who uses a vanity press or a print-on-demand for their paperbacks. I
literally did them myself. Not only do I write by the seat of my pants, I market by the seat of my pants.
When I started writing in those days, there wasn't on-demand publishing. My sister owned a little regional horse magazine that she published so she had some better printer technology than I did, so she said she would print the bodies for me. I designed the covers and she printed them, too. I found a little publishing company that would bind them for me, so I could sell my books. That's how I started.
When I decided to publish them as ebooks, I decided I wanted to change the covers, so I picked pictures that would match the story. My covers have images of the Quarter Horse world on them from Showmanship to Reining to Western Pleasure to Jumping.
I have warned my friends and my horse acquaintances all their lives since I've been writing that they'll never know when they are going to turn up in my books or on my covers.
Carly: What advice would you give to an aspiring author who wants to write about horses?
Diane: I'd go with the age-old theory that someone told me a long time ago and that's write what you know. That's what I did. I wrote what I know about. Our whole life is in these books.
The things that happen in these books are things that happened to us. The second book is especially like that because it's about my main character's year-long campaign trying to win this all-around title. We were at shows practically every weekend and the things that happen at the shows happened to us. Some of our Quarter Horse Congress incidents, they all show up in in the book.
It was easy to write about because it's stuff I lived through with my girls. So yeah, write what you know about.
Connect with Diane Maccani
Facebook/Tamarack Farm Publishing
Facebook/Diane Marie Maccani
Message Diane or email her for paperback copies!
Books by Diane Maccani
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Thank you for joining us this week on the Equestrian Author Spotlight podcast I hope you enjoy these Q&A sessions with wonderful equine authors who love all things horses and writing just like me.
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About Your Host Carly Kade
Carly Kade is an award-winning independent author, horse owner, creativity coach, and the host of the Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast. She helps fellow writers start, grow, and expand their author careers. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
Carly's award-winning In the Reins equestrian romance book series was written with horse lovers in mind, no matter which discipline they ride. The horses are as vital to moving the story forward as the human characters are.
These books are perfect for poolside reading, taking to the beach, or settling down with after a day of horseback riding.
Books by Carly Kade
Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing about horses makes her spurs jingle!