In this 33nd Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow equine author Marc O'Brien. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, horse book lovers will learn what inspired his book, The Final Fence: Sophomores in the Saddle, how Therapeutic Horseback Riding opened doors for him, and writers will glean some spur jingling advice from this fellow equine author's lessons learned. Happy reading!
About Equine Author Marc O'Brien
Realizing that the skills that he obtained from Barry University in 1988 while studying Communication Arts were important in daily life, Marc O’Brien decided to take his trade in a whole new direction. Living in Las Vegas, O’Brien has put together a strong portfolio of fictional works that challenge the reader to interpret and learn from his writings. Blue Note Publications were the first to bring his thoughts to the public when they assisted O’Brien through self-publishing Peter The Peteeatrick Panda’s Playground, Peter The Peteeatrick Panda and the Pandy Chip Pancakes and A Special Person to Ride.
Nice to meet you, Marc! Now let's gallop into the interview.
What would your dream horse be like?
I had a dream horse and I wrote a book about it. It is called Final Fence: Sophomores In The Saddle and it is published by Austin Macauley in London. I had a wonderful trusting relationship with the chestnut show pony known as “Something Special” when Linda Blair owned it. But when it came without any papers to the barn which I rode at South Wind Farms I bought the large pony then showed it as “Jersey Girl” on the South Florida Hunter Jumper Circuit’s rated shows. Due to my weak leg our relationship was compatible since I used voice commands and hand to reign signals to request changing a gait. She enjoyed that form of communication. Yes, it was love at first trot.
What is your involvement with horses?
I started with a leader and two side-walkers while in therapeutic horseback riding classes and graduated to hunter hack/long stirrups at South Florida Hunter/Jumper Rated Shows. I hope I gave both health care workers and educators the proper data to prove theories that therapeutic horseback riding works. After graduating from college I built my professional journalism portfolio by covering Grand Prix horse show jumping. Since these events had small media lists I was able to learn my craft along with learning the importance of community traditional events. Once again the health care worker and educator could view professional experience as someone who was able to build on the therapeutic program opportunity transitioned to professional credibility in the real world.
Why did you choose to write horse books?
When you are born disabled a lot of opportunities are taken from you. Therapeutic Horseback Riding opened doors. Not only is this activity something I know about first hand but the information from the past needs to be recorded so people have references to build upon by learning from others who have benefitted from the system. Choosing young adult fiction as a genre allows me the opportunity to display this much needed feedback in a fun filled entertaining way. Also, the format is simple so it’s easy to read and the interpretative fiction factor gives the reader the opportunity to take away things from reading then apply it to their own lives.
What advice can you share that might help aspiring authors?
Study journalism and learn to write in that style. It may not be as descriptive as a long winded account but the reader will appreciate the easy to read format. Focus on making points then backing those points up in your story line; this makes the reading news worthy or important. Try writing by reflecting on personal experience not only will the author get things off their chest which will make them feel better but the story is yours, and no one else’s. Remember if the author writes fiction then they have full control of the message. In other words in a fictional story you can create a character like a “Blue Nose Gopher” even though the “Blue Nose Gopher” does not exist.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
An outline ... that is too much work!!!. All my works to date were written in what I call bedtime story fashion, like a good parent in the Dick Van Dyke tradition making it up as I go. I used one interesting technique, I improv from scene to scene. Taking one idea from the scene I just wrote then connecting it to another then building the story until finished, it was a theater game but with writing.
If this book is part of a series, would you share little about it?
The Final Fence: Sophomores In The Saddle is the first of a three part series with the second part being entitled The Final Fence: Grooming And Growing Up. Danielle Lynne Easton and Eddie Patrick meet on a college campus in South Florida. She has dreams of competing in the Olympic Games, he competed in the National Disabled Competition and when the University setting brings the two together as well as County Line Stables where the two ride the interaction relationship rides along like a smooth posting trot.
What was your inspiration for the leading man/woman in your book?
Many of the inspirations in the Final Fence series come from my real life experience. Just like a Charles Dickens account or Neil Simon play it is fictional autobiographical which would mean the male lead would be me while the female is what I would of wished a relationship would have been if it actually existed. Or did it?
If your book was made into a movie, who would play your characters?
Mr Uncle Nate Hawthorne I envisioned at times Simon Baker (The Mentalist) but the Harrison Ford-Robert Redford image could apply. Abigail/Danielle Lynne Easton’s eight and half image could be filled by Josie Loren (Make It Or Break It), Roxanne Pallett (Lake Placid 3, Wrong Turn 6). Danielle Lynne Easton - Rose Williams -(Reign), Rachel Dillio (ChicagoMed). Caitlyn Stasey-Reign can do the Abigail/Danielle Lynne Easton role.
How did you research your novel?
My novel is not a journalistic work, it is not based on research. It is a work of fiction and was developed through reflective personal experience.
What do you think makes your book (or any book) stand out from the crowd?
All my works are authentic handcrafted accounts that deal with therapeutic horseback riding. I think it will stand out with educators on an International level when teaching students who may seem more challenging then the norm, The Final Fence series will give them an authentic reference to work with, I like to think the trilogy will be viewed as St Elmo ’s Fire’s American Anthem meets Something To Talk About if the Julia Roberts film was non stereotypical.
More about Marc O'Brien and his horse book!
Watch The Final Fence Book Trailer!
What a spur jingling author interview!
A BIG thank you to Marc O'Brien 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, Brian! #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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Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
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