In this seventh spotlight edition, I talk with fellow equestrian author Ellen Feld. We discuss the best topics on earth ... writing, books and horses! I am honored to feature Ellen as a part of this series because she has written TEN horse books AND Breyer made a model of one of her horse book characters ... OMG! I think fellow authors will appreciate her response to how she structures her writing schedule! Hint: It's very unstructured! A lot of you may be saying, "Phew! I thought I was the only one." I think I can hear the sighs of relief out there! Happy reading!
A little bit about Author Ellen Feld
Ellen Feld is an IRA/Children's Choices winner (twice) who began writing about horses more than 20 years ago. At first she wrote for small, regional magazines, but within a few short years, her work began to appear regularly in large, national publications.
In 2001, while waiting for her next assignment, Ms. Feld wrote a short story about a Morgan Horse. That tale became the first chapter of Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse.
The book went on to win a coveted Children s Choices award, an honor bestowed jointly by the International Reading Association and the Children s Book Council. To date, Ms. Feld has authored ten books, including seven in the Morgan Horse series. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, ten horses, and assorted other pets.
Let's gallop on to the interview now!
What is your involvement with horses?
I’ve had horses since I was a teenager and was competing on the Morgan class A show circuit with my home-trained horses by the time I was 15. Horses have been a very important part of my life ever since. I’ve always had at least one horse, even while in college and graduate school. After graduate school, I had a very good job offer in Washington, DC (working in the foreign policy office of a US Senator). However, it would have made owning a horse almost impossible so I returned to my home in Massachusetts to be close to my horses. My herd has grown through the years – I currently have eleven horses.
How did you/when did you/why did you choose to write horse books?
In the mid-80s, I began writing for local and regional horse publications and within a few short years I was getting hired to do feature articles in national equine magazines. My magazine writing career took off and soon I was quite busy. One winter, while between assignments, I wrote a short story about my horse Blackjack, who was away at the trainer’s. That short story became the first chapter of my first book, “Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse” when several friends encouraged me to expand the story into a book.
How many horse-related books have you written?
Ten books, which include seven in the “Morgan Horse” series (ages 9-13), plus a companion photo book to the series, “Meet the Morgans” that showcases pictures of the real horses in the books, as well as two hardcover, 32-page, full-color illustrated books for younger children (ages 6-7), “Justin Morgan and the Big Horse Race” and “Shadow: The Curious Morgan Horse.”
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Very unstructured. I find that if I try to force myself to write, what comes out on paper (or really, the computer screen) is not very good. When the mood hits, I write and can sometimes go for hours at a time and get a lot done. But again, if I try to force myself, I might eeek out a page every hour and then I delete it later because I don’t like it.
Would you share about your horse book series?
The series is called the “Morgan Horse” series and includes seven books. The series is about a young girl, Heather, and a barn full of Morgan horses. Each book focuses on a specific horse and discipline so readers get a nice taste of numerous equine sports, from showing, to barrel racing and trail riding.
What was your inspiration for the horse(s) in your book?
The unique thing about my series is that while the books are all works of fiction, the horses in the stories are all real (I have eleven horses!). I find this helps my writing as I incorporate each horse’s unique characteristics into the stories. Plus, my readers get very excited to learn that the horses are real. I even published a companion book to the series called “Meet the Morgans” that features over 50 photos of the real horses. Breyer Animal Creations also loved this idea and they made a model of my horse Blackjack, who is the star of the series, and sold it with a copy of his/my book “Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse.”
What do you think makes your book (or any book) stand out from the crowd?
One of the things that I’m extremely proud of is that the first two books in my series, “Blackjack” and “Frosty” have both won the national book award ‘Children’s Choices’ which is co-sponsored by the International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council. Winners of this award are selected by 12,000 children from around the country (!) and the fact that kids select the winners is something that I think speaks to the wide appeal of my books to young readers.
What’s next? Future goals for your writing?
I’m currently working on two books. The first, “Blackjack: The Magical Morgan Horse” is for young readers (first grade reading level) about a horse who pops out of a drawing; and “Bandit” which is loosely based on one of my rescue horses.
Discover more about Ellen Feld's books!
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Ellen-F.-Feld
Watch Ellen Feld's Book Trailers!
What a spur jingling interview!
If you are an author that writes about horses and would like to be spotlighted let me know. I’d be happy to include you too. Helping out fellow horse book authors makes my spurs jingle! Visit my contact page to fill out a request!
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Many thanks to equestrian author Ellen Feld for this wonderful interview! I appreciate the support of a fellow author! Thank you for giving me the gift of your time, Ellen!
Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
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