Episode 80: On Hollywood Lessons Learned, Working with Illustrators & Gratitude with Evan Archerd (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 80: 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 Evan Archerd. You'll learn ...
Watch Evan Archerd's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only version.
About Evan Archerd
Evan began his career in Hollywood as a songwriter and film composer. His work in music for films eventually led to screenwriting - first for CBS television, then Columbia and MGM motion pictures. Evan's latest screenplay, The Man Behind The Music, tells the story of Henry Lewy, the unsung giant among the music producers/engineers of the rock ‘n roll era. The documentary has gained acclaim in film festivals around the world.
The genesis of his book, Anna and the Pink Pony, was his family's first Shetland pony. Duke came home to their farm in Oregon to live out his days when he was 31 years old. Evan's daughter began a lifelong love affair with horses saddled on his small but sturdy back. His wee size hid a huge heart.
Horses bring magic into the lives of children. Evan hopes a bit of that delight jumps off the page when you read his story.
Evan Archerd Interview Excerpt
Carly: Tell us about your book Anna and the Pink Pony.
Evan: We've kind of used some poetic license here, but the book is the mostly true story of the search for my daughter's first pony whose name was Duke. He was like a nine-hand shetland pony. He was wee little guy with the biggest heart. He lived to be 41 years old.
The book is called Anna and the Pink Pony, and Anna has stood in for my daughter in this book. When we were looking for a pony for Tessa, we looked high and low. Tessa's favorite story at the time was the story of a pink horse that nobody wanted to ride because he didn't look like any of the other horses, but then the horse show comes and the little girl's horse goes lame. There's no one else to ride at the horse show, so she rides the pink horse. They win the blue ribbon and everybody goes home happy. My daughter just loved the story. Of course, when it came time to find a pony for her, she wanted nothing to do with anything but a pink pony.
I tried to tell her that the story is wonderful, but there aren't any pink ponies in the real world. She would just look at me. Eventually, we found Duke and we bring him home. When we backed him out of the trailer, the Oregon sky had this beautiful light. He was a red roan with a lot of white hairs in his coat. Wen that little little pony body came back out of the trailer into the light, he was pink. I don't mean just a little pink. He was pink! Tessa looked at me, and she said, "See, Daddy.!There really are pink ponies." At that moment, I knew I had to write this book.
Carly: Talk to us about your illustrator.
Evan: Hannah Stern illustrated Anna and the Pink Pony for me, and she knows horses. From the time she was a little girl, she had a pencil in her hand and dreams of illustrating stories.
I think it's important for your audience to understand the dynamics of starting to work with an illustrator. The most important thing I could say to anyone out there looking for an illustrator is make an agreement with them, whereby they provide you with some sample work before you commit to actually doing the whole book. Be willing to pay pay them for a few sample illustrations, so that you have a sense of what this is really going to look like.
Hannah sent me some samples and I was blown away. I knew immediately that we were a perfect fit. In the search for an illustrator, don't settle.
Carly: You are a former Hollywood screenwriter and a songwriter. How did working in that industry prepare you to shift your creativity into writing a children's book?
Evan: The one thing that Hollywood taught me is that you just have to keep at it. People are going to tell you your work is no good. People are going to tell you that it's all been done before. People are going to tell you that there's too much competition. People will tell you that you should just give up and go get a job outside the entertainment business, but the reality is that not everything has been said before, written before. There are still great stories to be told.
Someone once said, "The more I practice, the luckier I get." It's really true with writing. The more you keep at it, the more you hone your craft. The more you become a better writer, a little bit of good fortune is going to come your way at some point.
Carly: What's next for you?
Evan: I just started writing the second book in the Anna series. It tells the true story of our harrowing escape from the tragic fires that hit Southern Oregon last autumn and how we saved all of our farm animals. The working title is Anna and the Great Escape.
Connect with Evan Archerd
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About Your Host Carly Kade
Carly Kade is an award-winning 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!