Episode 67: On Equestrian Fine Art, Off-Track Thoroughbreds & Advanced Readers with Linda Shantz (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 67: 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 Linda Shantz. She's an artist of fine equestrian art and the author of the Good Things Come book series. You'll learn ...
Watch Linda Shantz's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only episode.
About Author and Artist Linda Shantz
Growing up, Linda's exposure to horses was limited to books and excitedly pointing them out in fields from the back seat of the car. To compensate, she drew them and wrote stories about them. It wasn't until Linda was thirteen that she managed to immerse herself in them, working as a volunteer at a summer horse camp. Along the way, she never stopped drawing them, and she never stopped writing stories.
Linda began working at the racetrack before she finished high school, and after graduating, she took a hot-walking job at Payson Park in Florida. Once back at Woodbine, Linda started grooming and galloping. While the backstretch was exciting, she found she was more at home on the farm – prepping and starting yearlings, night-watching and foaling mares. Eventually Linda started her own small layup/broodmare facility, and in the last few years she transitioned into retraining and rehoming thoroughbreds.
Linda lives on a small farm in Southern Ontario, Canada, with her off-track Thoroughbreds and a young Border Collie with a sheep addiction, and she hopes to event one of her horses in the future.
Linda Shantz Interview Excerpt
Carly: You've been able to make your love of horses into a very successful career. You are an incredibly talented equestrian artist. Talk to us about your art and when you started painting horses.
Linda: I've been drawing since I could hold the pencil. When I was 16, a friend of the family was an artist and he ran an oil painting course. That was the first time I tried oils and loved them. That's what I primarily work in now.
I started off doing portraits, which happens with a lot of people. If you want to make money from your art, the most direct way to go is to do portraits of people's horses.
My artistic education has come primarily from hours of drawing and extensive involvement with the animals I so admire. I work in oil, oil pastel and pencil, striving to capture not only accurate anatomy, but the spirit of the horse as well.
Carly: You've been around horses your whole life. You've worked on race tracks. You've worked with Thoroughbreds. You have your own farm. You're painting pictures of horses and now you've added "author" to your list of accomplishments. Tell us about your horse book Good Things Come. Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
Linda: I take it right back to reading The Black Stallion as a child. All the horse novels that I read as a kid were always about the derby, but I'm Canadian and our big race is The Queen's Plate. I wondered why there wasn't a book about The Queen's Plate.
I went to my first Queen's Plate when I was 11. My dad took me to the race and I just had this little obsession about the race and started writing the story that has become Good Things Come.
Back of the Book Description: If Liv wasn’t such a control freak, it wouldn’t have rubbed her the wrong way when the farm’s new exercise rider stepped in to resuscitate newborn Chique, the first foal out of her father’s favourite mare. Nate’s equal parts good-looking and good with horses, and the kind of distraction she can’t afford as a woman trying to make it in a man’s world.
When she drops out of vet school to get her jockey’s license in New York, intent on coming back to Ontario to ride Chique in the Queen’s Plate–Canada’s most prestigious race–Nate’s skill and dedication make him the obvious choice to keep an eye on the filly.
He’s not supposed to become key to her plan.
Tragedy brings her home prematurely, disrupting her career, and her life. Now if Chique’s going to become the racehorse she’s meant to be – and Liv’s going to find significance again – she’ll have to let go of her stubborn ideals and let Nate in, to her dream…and her heart.
Fellow author Natalie Keller Reinert worked with Linda to design the cover of Good Things Come. Listen in to Natalie's Equestrian Author Spotlight interview to learn more about her books and the services she offers fellow equine authors!
Carly: Good Things Come hit the Amazon #1 New Equestrian Release slot when it debuted. Did you do anything special to launch the book that might have helped you get to that slot?
Linda: I used the existing following that I had with my art because it seemed kind of natural. Most of them are horse people and a certain portion of them would be interested in horse racing because I paint a lot of racehorses, so I used my email list to set up a new segment and did a new welcome sequence offering the first chapter of Good Things Come.
I did the same sort of thing on on Facebook where I offered a sign up that allowed my readers access to the first chapter and shared it with Facebook groups that seemed relevant. I also used advanced readers and did a Kindle pre-order. Having advanced reader copies to approach people beforehand really helps you hit the ground running with reviews when the book comes out.
Connect with Linda Shantz
Horse Books by Linda Shantz
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy any books featured, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These affiliate purchases help with the upkeep of the podcast. Thanks for your help keeping this site running!
New Author Interviews Each Week!
Make sure you never miss a show by subscribing on YouTube or Apple Podcasts. This podcast is made possible by listeners like you. I appreciate your support!
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.
If you are an author who writes about horses and would like to be spotlighted please let me know. Visit my contact page to fill out a request. I'd be happy to have you on the show, too.
Want a free guide to secrets of horse book authors? Gallop over to https://www.carlykadecreative.com/wisdom.html and join the Equestrian Author Spotlight email list to have the author advice resource delivered instantly to your inbox.
About Host & Author 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 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!