Episode 71: On Blogging Best Practices, Test Driving Ideas & Real Collaboration with Susan Friedland of Saddle Seeks Horse (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 71: 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, Susan Friedland of Saddle Seeks Horse returns to the show. You'll learn ...
Watch Susan Friedland's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only episode.
About Susan Friedland of Saddle Seeks Horse
Middle school history teacher by day and horse girl 24/7, Susan Friedland shares an authentic look at equestrian life on the award-winning blog Saddle Seeks Horse. Topics ranging from equine ulcers to how to break in riding boots the easy way to understanding your horse’s kissing spine along with horse-related book reviews are the foundation of Susan’s website which has been in the blogosphere since 2013.
Susan, a displaced Midwesterner now living in LA, is owned by a cuddly Doberman and a tall, dark and handsome Thoroughbred gelding who just made his debut as a fox hunter.
Susan’s memoir Horses Adored and Men Endured: A Memoir of Falling and Getting Back Up is rated a 5-star read on Amazon and has garnered praise from publications UnTacked, Horse and Style and authors Jean Abernethy and Carly Kade. Trot along with Susan and her OTTB Knight on Instagram @saddleseekshorse or visit saddleseekshorse.com.
Susan Friedland Interview Excerpt
Carly: Since you were last on the show, you have released a new book. Tell us about Strands of Hope.
Susan: In Strands of Hope: How to Grieve the Loss of a Horse, I share how I coped following the tragic death of my heart horse DC, and the journey that led me back to the saddle.
In the book, I relate lessons learned from my own grieving process and those of five other horse owners who also know the pain. Through personal stories, interviews and practical tips, I offer strands of hope for the bereaved equestrian. In the book, readers will discover:
How to write an equine eulogy
The health benefits of shedding tears
Creative ways to commemorate the life of a horse
What to say (and not say) if your friend has lost a horse
Interviews with equestrians who have also experienced tragedies, ranging from losing a foal and saying goodbye to a childhood pony to having to mourn a horse’s early retirement and more.
Riding and being with horses can bring you joy again. If you want to trot forward into the future but are feeling sad and stuck, this book is for you!
Carly: Blogging can be a medium for test driving ideas. Strands of Hope was inspired by a blog post you wrote on Saddle Seeks Horse. Talk to us about the blog post that inspired this book.
Susan: I love what you just said about test driving. A blog post is like test driving. Years ago, I was really active with Twitter chats with other horse lovers all around the globe talking about a topic. One week the topic was about losing a horse.
There was a gal in the UK that just was devastated. It was not a recent loss. I think she had lost the horse a while ago, but she had a lot of guilt. It was very deep pain for her. I'm not a psychologist or anything, but I know that deep pain because I lived it.
I didn't want to write about losing my horse, but I thought if I could bring something to life on a my website, she reads it, and maybe feels better for a few minutes, then that'll be worth it, so I did.
The title of the blog post is How to Grieve the Loss of a Horse in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps. I just entered that moment in time, that day, the weeks after, and then chronicled it by drawing out some of the steps that I went through. That blog post continues to get a lot of traffic. I haven't checked it lately, but there was a point where if you typed in "grieving a horse" or "how to grieve a horse," my blog post was coming in at the top page of Google search.
Susan: When it came to writing the book, I already had the outline of the 10 steps from the blog post, so I was able to flesh them out more into chapters. It was very important for me that the book not be a long book because who wants to sit there and read a 300 page book about such a sad topic. I tried to keep it brief and very practical, so that's how it came to life.
Also, I wanted to expand the conversation beyond my own experience. People will relate to my story, but there's so many other stories out there. I had owned my horse for 16 years. There are people who've had ponies for 30 years. How do you deal with that? There's different types of end of life for our horses, so I included the experiences of other equestrians in the book, too.
Carly: Why would you suggest that an author consider starting a blog?
Susan: Discoverability and opportunities to network with other bloggers. I think having that presence puts you on the radar. I think it is really important for all authors absolutely. I mean having at least a website presence under your your name is important for discoverability, but blogging about a particular subject of interest to you or that is relatable to your book is another way to be discovered.
Carly: Exactly. For example, you got an idea for a book from a blog post that you wrote, but people are also discovering your new book, which is an expansion of that blog post. It works hand in hand. Blogging helps you to figure out what you might want to write about, explore what you topics you and your audience is interested in, but then also drive people to your website in order to purchase your book, so it really works 360.
(Listen into the full podcast interview! Susan goes into full detail about her journey into blogging and how you can, too.)
Connect with Susan Friedland of Saddle Seeks Horse
Get Susan's list of 10 Must Read Horse Books by clicking here.
Books by Susan Friedland & Recommended Read
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In this episode with Susan, you'll learn ...
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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 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!