Episode 68: On the Holiday Horse Book Series, Writing Across Genres & Using Comedy with Laura Hesse (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 68: 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 horse lover and author Laura Hesse. You'll learn ...
Watch Laura Hesse's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only version.
About Author Laura Hesse
“Any obstacle can be overcome! It’s all about attitude and never giving up. Not every story is broadcast on the evening news. Most heroes are every-day people. That is who I write about. That is what thrills me.” Laura Hesse, interview Chek 6 TV
Laura Hesse grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. She spent all of her free time during high school with the first love of her life, a Thoroughbred cross gelding, named Andy’s Pride. When she graduated high school, she traded her gumboots in for a pair of steel toed boots, and Pride moved on to be the love of another little girl’s life.
Laura graduated from Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology with a technical diploma in Forestry and worked her way west, eventually becoming the first woman to be hired on a Helitack grew in Alberta. In her non-fiction novel, Peter Pan Wears Steel Toes, she describes her life as a timber cruiser from all too friendly skunks to close encounters with bears and hiding from ball lightning as it flashed and rolled across the treetops over her head. It was the adventures of a lifetime, but as Laura likes to say, “when an outhouse became a luxury item, I knew it was time to leave the field.”
Laura wrote her first novel, One Frosty Christmas, while recovering from major surgery in 2001. The story was inspired by a young lady that she met while volunteering with Nanaimo Therapeutic Riding and a frostbitten mustang that arrived at Thunderbird Show Park on route from Wyoming to northern British Columbia.
Laura lives on Vancouver Island and enjoys spending time with her horsey, doggie, and feline friends. While Laura’s fjord mare, Pumpkin Sally, passed away a couple of years ago, she is well remembered in the pages of The Great Pumpkin Ride and A Filly Called Easter.
Laura Hesse Interview Excerpt
Carly: Tell us how your love affair with horses began.
Laura: All I ever dreamed about was horses from a very young age. My first horse was a stuffed one that sat on the floor and I could slide around on it. I think I was three. The first pony I rode was when I was five. He was a little black pony whose name was Mike. Somewhere I have a picture of me riding Mike. My mother, god bless her, was terrified of horses but she would take me out riding every Sunday at a local stable for years until I convinced my dad to let me get my own horse.
Carly: Tell us about your horse books.
Laura: One Frosty Christmas was my first book. It was inspired by my time volunteering with therapeutic riding and a little rangy frostbitten pony that was dropped off at Thunderbird Show Park in Vancouver on his trip from Wyoming to northern BC. I wondered about the family who loved this pony so much that it ended up on this journey.
At the time I wrote it, I was recovering from major surgery. When I got the all clear that I didn’t have to have more surgery, my father was diagnosed terminal. Some of what I was feeling ended up in the book – the story of loss, feeling alone, and then realizing that I had friends to help me through it all…that and faith. It is the same thing in all of my stories. They are inspired by a horse or horses, an event that I was part of, or a place that triggered the idea for a story to bring that event to life.
Carly: You tell stories for all ages in various genres. Tell us about the other genres you write in and about your other books.
Laura: I write in multiple genres now including children’s fantasy and cozy detective/black comedy. I like a little laugh with my murder and mayhem and thought a crime solving duo of an RCMP officer on leave and her pet pot-bellied pig stumbling upon a series of bizarre deaths on an island where everyone had a secret was hilarious. The original concept was based on a screenplay that I wrote and optioned in 2011. When the rights returned to me a few years later, I wrote the sequels. They are quite popular.
Carly: Is it difficult to write across genres?
Laura: No, I find it relaxing. It is fun to release the imagination. Sometimes, the stories from the different genres attract the same fans. Folks who like the horse series usually like the unicorn series for the little ones – mostly as audiobooks – and the adults like the rural animal cozy mystery series, plus I wrote a black comedy – sort of Blazing Saddles meets Weekend at Bernies – The Silver Spurs Home for Aging Cowgirls … well for us older horsewomen.
Carly: Do you work on multiple projects at a time or do you choose one project in a single genre and run with it?
Carly: What is the hardest part about being an author?
Laura: Learning to accept criticism with grace. Not everyone is going to love your work. That’s okay.
Carly: What is the best part about being an author?
Laura: Meeting the fans, especially the kids. When a kids stares wide-eyed up at you at a show and tells you all about their pony, it is the greatest feeling in the world.
Carly: What is the one common myth about our profession or field that you want to debunk?
Laura: That independent publishers aren’t as good as a trade published author. More than 50% of best sellers are by independents. Don’t assume that an author selling their books at a craft fair or speaking at a library in front of a handful of people isn’t a successful author. Maybe they are there to get out of their office and into the world to have some fun and meet people face to face.
Carly: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Laura: Go for it. Don’t let anyone stop you from telling your story. Define success by your own means, not by through the words of others.
Connect with Laura Hesse
Books by Laura Hesse
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!