Episode 88: On Hollywood to Horse Country & Interviewing Horse Racing Legends with Lenny Shulman (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 88: 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 Emmy Award-winning writer Lenny Shulman. You'll learn ...
Watch Lenny Shulman's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio version.
About Lenny Shulman
Lenny Shulman is an Emmy Award-winning writer who worked in TV and film in Hollywood for two decades. He wrote and produced “Kids Incorporated,” wrote for the NFL on FOX, and co-wrote the feature film “Dice Rules.”
Larry Flynt, a Kentucky native, was Lenny’s first boss when Lenny moved to Los Angeles in 1980 to work as a copy editor.
Lenny's work has appeared in The Blood-Horse magazine, Thoroughbred racing’s leading weekly publication. He is also the author of “Ride Of Their Lives,” a behind-the-scenes look at the triumphs and turmoil of Thoroughbred racing’s top jockeys, and "Justify: 111 Days to Triple Crown Glory and Ride."
Lenny Shulman Interview Excerpt
Carly: You are an Emmy Award-winning writer in television and film as well as a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers. Talk to us about what it was like working in that world and how those professions helped with the writing of your books.
Lenny: Rejection is a big part of Hollywood. You have to do a lot to get a job, but it did teach me. As the features editor of The Blood-Horse, I became the person who other people pitched ideas to, so I was on the other side of the fence. What it really taught me was to be courteous and respectful of everybody because I think as a writer probably the worst thing in the world is to apply for a job or submit material and never hear back. I respect when somebody doesn't like it and lets you know the work isn't a good fit. It tells you where you stand, but to never get an answer from people, I just found that to be the worst.
What it taught me was to deal with people with respect and help people who maybe weren't on the right track, give them pointers, or send them in in another direction to somebody else. That, to me, is the best lesson I learned. I could maybe help somebody else along down the road.
Carly: You have served as features editor for The Blood-Horse magazine, are an author of several books, and have covered the horse racing industry for more than twenty years. Your newest book is Head to Head: Conversations with a Generation of Horse Racing Legends. Tell us about your latest book.
Lenny: In Head to Head, I offer highlights from the best interviews I have conducted throughout my career covering Thoroughbred horse racing. The book takes readers behind the scenes with industry legends, owners, trainers, veterinarians, and celebrities ― touching on some of the greatest horses and greatest races the sport has ever seen. Head to Head serves as an important oral history of Thoroughbred horse racing as well as a guide for new generations of enthusiasts who are interested in learning from some of the sport's most successful luminaries.
Carly: The back of the book notes that over your twenty years covering the industry, you’ve been able to coax the innermost thoughts out of the sport’s most notable headline-makers. How do you approach an interview with a legend? How do you prepare for the conversations? Talk to us about the art of the interview.
Lenny: I think you have to know your stuff. It pays to educate yourself. Before I interview anybody, I try to read up as much as I can about them and try to carry on an intelligent conversation.
Make it enjoyable for them as much as possible and not make it so much a question and answer, but a conversation. A lot of people don't like to be interviewed or they're not used to being interviewed, so you really have to get them relaxed in order for them to share beyond the perfunctory and get to the good stories. Be yourself. Make a joke and have them laugh at it. That puts them at ease and makes it easier for them to share their thoughts with you.
Carly: What's next? Where are you heading?
Lenny: I'm working on a upcoming biography of Phyllis George. She was hired as a reporter and co-host of the CBS Sports pre-show The NFL Today, becoming one of the first women to hold an on-air position in national televised sports broadcasting. She also served as the First Lady of Kentucky from 1979 to 1983. The book is coming out next August, also from University Press of Kentucky, and I co-wrote it with my colleague Paul Volponi. It does not yet have a title.
Books by Lenny Shulman
Purchase Head to Head directly from University Press of Kentucky: https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813181271/head-to-head/
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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!