In this 31st Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow equine author and EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner F.J. Thomas. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, you'll learn that she is a self-proclaimed horse geek, horse show judge, equine author and a complete cowgirl. Plus, she just won the Best Equine Screenplay at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York City. Happy reading!
About Equine Author F.J. Thomas
A southern gal with a western heart, F.J. Thomas resides in east Tennessee with the love of her life who is a retired race horse trainer and former professional bull rider, and a menagerie of horses, cats, and dogs. Working full time in the healthcare industry, F.J. is currently focusing the rest of her time on writing the film script for Lost Betrayal and building a new tiny home. A former OHSA Carded horse show judge, trainer and instructor, F.J. loves competing in anything from hunt seat to barrel racing and ranch events every chance she gets ...
Nice to meet you, F.J.! Let's lope into your interview.
What is your involvement with horses?
I have been an OHSA carded judge, and have judged a lot of open and 4-H horse shows, as well as given lessons and trained. I also barrel race and compete in anything from ranch classes and sorting cows to hunter and trail. I just love seeing what a horse can do! However, at the moment I’m in the very long process of building a house and barn so that’s what I have to focus on financially before I can start hauling again. This coming year through Cowgirls With Curves, I’m hoping to do some horsemanship and rider clinics that specialize in problem horses and riders that just need confidence.
How did you/when did you/ why did you choose to write horse books?
I’m a bit of a horse geek and I’m extremely passionate about horses. They infiltrate every aspect of my life in one or another, and I can’t help but write about them.
Years ago, my experience with helping a horse impacted by hurricane Floyd impacted me greatly in that it opened my eyes to what happens to large animals in a disaster. Large animals are the last to be rescued and their needs are the least to be advertised. That experience was the driving force behind my first book Lost Betrayal.
Last year, I wrote my first children’s book about a plus size barrel racer. As someone that’s struggled with my weight but still loves to run, I wanted write a story that would impact up and coming kids. I love planting the horse seeds in children! That’s tomorrow’s horse industry.
How many horse-related books have you written?
I’ve written two fiction books that are horse related, and one children’s picture book that came out last year. My newest children’s book, Pedro’s Problemo about a Chihuahua that has to ride a horse to prove he’s royalty from Mexico, was recently released with Dingbat Publishing.
What advice can you share that might help aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. It took me ten years to finish my first book. After I finally finished it, it took another year and a half to find a home for it with Solstice Publishing and I had at least forty rejections. Both of my children’s books were rejected that many times as well.
The one thing so many rejections taught me was how to write a good query! Keep it short, simple and knock their socks off in the first paragraph.
Landing an agent or publisher is just the first step. The real work begins when the editing and marketing starts, and the marketing never ends!
Why do you write?
That’s a good question with a lot of answers! One is that I constantly have great story ideas and as a writer I just have to let them out and share them. It’s almost like an excited kid busting at the seams to tell some good news.
Writing for me is like therapy and it keeps the darkness in check. Like a lot of writers, I’ve got a dark side that can be overwhelming at times and writing is a way to explore and deal with it but not let it impact your life personally.
There’s aspects of people and events from real life that work their way into the stories I write for adults. Then the children’s books are all light and fun! They balance each other out I guess.
I also write because I have something to say or something to teach. Books impact the world in the way protests and newscasts never can. They reach people on an individual level when they read a story and I love that.
What was your inspiration for the leading man in Lost Betrayal?
The inspiration behind the leading man Garrett in Lost Betrayal is a rodeo cowboy that died a few years back. I knew him in my younger years, and he was rambunctious and full of life. Unfortunately, as a bull rider and later as a bull fighter, he battled with drug addiction.
Watch the Lost Betrayal Book Trailer
Breaking News! F.J. Thomas Wins w/ Lost Betrayal Script at EQUUS Film Festival
The script, since entitled “The Grulla” won the Winnie Award for Best Equine Screenplay at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York City.
If your book was made into a movie, who would play your characters?
I’m actually working on the movie script for Lost Betrayal after receiving a request for it. For Sage, the main heroine of the book, I think Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect. She does such a great job of portraying a strong, determined female in the face of immense disaster. I think Scott Eastwood would do a great job of portraying reformed bad boy cowboy, Garrett.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
The first chapter was my favorite but also the hardest write as I had to detail the devastation that happened when the tornado hit. It’s one of those parts of the story that just grabs you and makes you cry but you can’t quit reading.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
The message is that even in the face of betrayal of the worst kind, and in the worst of times, never give up.
What’s next? Future goals for your writing?
I just released Pedro’s Problemo, and finished the movie script for Lost Betrayal, which just won at the EQUUS Film Festival for Best Equine Screenplay. I also have a romance and paranormal story that I’ll be finishing.
More about F.J. Thomas and her horse books!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/F.J.-Thomas/
Children’s Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jewel-Thomas/
What a spur jingling interview!
A BIG thank you to F.J. Thomas of Cowgirls with Curves for participating in my Equestrian Author Spotlight series. I enjoy these interviews. I learn so much from other equine authors and appreciate how unique each of our writing journeys are. I love that all the authors featured in this series are linked through our creativity, passion for writing, and love of horses. I think it is so important to support each other. I appreciate the support of a fellow author. Thanks for giving me the gift of your time, F.J.! #authorsunite
Check Out F.J.'s Talking In The Barn Interviews
Talking In The Barn is a blog that interviews horse lovers that are writers, artists & photographers, or professional competitors. Horses aren’t just a way of life. They’re a passion – and that passion trickles over into everything we do. That’s what this blog is about. F.J. is always looking for people to interview for the blog – you don’t have to be famous, just love horses.
F.J. was kind enough to interview me after In the Reins won the Best Western Fiction Winnie Award at the 4th annual EQUUS Film Festival in NYC. Check out our interview!
I LOVE HORSE BOOKS! If you are an author who writes about horses and would like to be spotlighted let me know. I’d be happy to include you, too. Sharing about fellow horse book authors makes my spurs jingle! Visit my contact page to fill out a request: https://www.carlykadecreative.com/contact.html
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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!