In this 37th Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow equine author Laura Hesse. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, horse book lovers will learn what inspired her holiday horse book One Frosty Christmas. Laura's holiday horse book series now includes FIVE horse books. Laura writes about horses, hope, and friendship. Happy reading!
About Author Laura Hesse
"Any obstacle can be overcome. I learned that while volunteering with my local therapeutic riding program. It's all about attitude and never giving up," confides author, Laura Hesse.
Laura grew up a back stage brat in Music Hall Theater. She was thrust onto stage at an early age and discovered that while she wasn't a very good tap dancer, she was a pretty good soprano. Laura still loves to sing and joins many a jammer on stage to do back up vocals on Vancouver Island where she lives.
Her love of the stage has translated into a love of audio book narration. She narrates her own series of short bedtime stories in the Unicorn Daze Series.
"While Pumpkin Sally passed away a couple of years ago, she forever lives on in my heart and in the pages of The Great Pumpkin Ride and A Filly Called Easter. I hope you enjoy her performance." - Laura Hesse
Nice to meet you, Laura! Now let's gallop into the interview.
What is your favorite horse memory?
My favorite memory is of going with my mother and a friend to pick out my first horse when I was twelve. We drove into the farmer’s yard in time to see this gorgeous two year-old chestnut Standardbred/Thoroughbred cross jump over a six foot fence as if it wasn’t there. I told Rick, our horse expert and family friend, that he was the one I wanted. He urged us not to buy him as he was an unbroken stallion, but when we drove into the yard, Pride trotted over to our car and stuck his head in the window and nuzzled first my mother and then me. That was it. My mum and I fell in love with him. The farmer could see it and sold him to us for $100.00. It was going to cost $50.00 for the gelding. That was all the money we had. Pride and I spent seven wonderful years together before he went on to become the love of another young girl’s life and I moved away to attend college.
Why did you choose to write horse books?
I had major surgery in 2001. I was bedridden for a few months. I wrote a short story while struggling to recover which I gave to my friends and family for Christmas. They urged me to turn the story into the book. At the same time I was doing this, I lost my father. Unfortunately, my father never got to read what became the first of four books in The Holiday Series - One Frosty Christmas, but his spirit is alive within its pages. The first print run of 500 sold out in 3 days when the local book reviewer for the newspaper compared it to Black Beauty.
What advice can you share that might help aspiring authors?
Remember that when writing a horse book, or any book about an animal, that the animals are characters in your book too. They have likes and dislikes, quirks, and feelings. Always treat your reader with respect so that you “show” how your characters are feeling, in part by using their dialogue and behavior to do this. Don’t just “tell” a reader the story. Allow them to feel the hope, the humor, and the anguish, held within the pages of the story. To write, one must ask questions. The first step begins with a thought or an event, like a frostbitten old mustang traveling from Wyoming to northern BC, and the rest is up to the writer.
If your book is part of a series, would you share little about it?
One Frosty Christmas will always be special to me because it is my first novel. The writing of it touched my heart, and it continues to touch my reader’s hearts as well.
What was your inspiration for the horse(s) in your book?
The old Mustang in the story, One Frosty Christmas, is based on an actual pony called “Frosted Tip”. This little fellow was delivered to Thunderbird in Vancouver several years ago en route from Wyoming to northern BC. A friend of mine was working at the horse show when the scruffy white pony with frostbitten ears was dropped off. The horse transporter asked if she would mind looking after the pony.
She was delighted. “Frosty”, as my friend aptly named him, was the cutest, if not homeliest, pony she had ever seen. She hoped to meet his new owner, but her responsibilities kept her as busy in the show ring as they did in the barn, and he was gone before dinner the next day.
I was so taken with the story of Frosted Tip ... How did he lose the tips of his ears? What adventures had he lived through? Why buy a frostbitten pony in Wyoming and ship him to northern BC? What made this pony so special? I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Before I knew it, my imagination took hold and the concept behind One Frosty Christmas was born.
Watch the One Frosty Christmas Book Trailer!
One Frosty Christmas is the first book in the Holiday Series of equine novels by Laura Hesse. It is a Hallmark style of Christmas story for the horse loving child in the family. This video is suitable for all ages.
What was your inspiration for the leading man/woman in your book?
The human characters were a little harder to bring to life. The character of Hannah Storey developed out of time spent working as a volunteer with a couple of therapeutic riding associations and by growing up around numerous WWII vets including my Uncle Mac, who was an amputee. Johnny Joe is a composite of several people – my father, a gentle and peaceful man with a great sense of humour and determination, a native boy from Port Alberni who quietly offered to “sing” for my father’s spirit along with his grandmother’s on their passing, and Walter, one of the camp cooks I worked with while stationed with the Alberta Forestry Service in Fort McKay, Alberta.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Definitely. I write about hope and friendship. We all experience dark moments in our life, but we are never truly alone. There is always a friend waiting in the wings, either two-legged or four, to help one through the dark times.
More about Equine Author Laura Hesse
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Hesse/
Laura Hesse on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/llhesse
More Book Trailers from Laura's Holiday Series!
What a spur jingling author interview!
A BIG thank you to Laura Hesse for participating in my Equestrian Author Spotlight series. 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, Laura! #authorsunite
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!