In this 32nd Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow equine author Rae Rankin. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, horse book lovers will learn what inspired her children's book, Cowgirl Lessons, and writers will glean some spur jingling advice from this fellow equine author's lessons learned. Happy reading!
About Children's Book Author Rae Rankin
Rae Rankin is an independent marketing and graphic design consultant transplanted from sunny central California to the wilds of Utah. After two landlocked years (no the Great Salt Lake is not a substitute), her family was transferred to the Pacific Northwest. Four years later, she has come full circle and returned to California.
Rae has always had a passion for writing and reading. Cowgirl Lessons is her first children’s book. Her second children's book, Beach Day, and her third children's book, Cowgirl Christmas, were released in 2018. She is currently working on polishing up her first contemporary fiction novel.
Rae lives with a loving, supportive husband; teenage equestrian daughter; a dog who has her own business cards; and a neurotic cat who eats plastic house plants.
Nice to meet you, Rae! Let's trot into your interview.
Why did you choose to write horse books?
Cowgirl Lessons was inspired by my daughter's love of horses and her first lesson horse named Duchess. Elizabeth started taking riding lessons at the age of 6. It was her birthday present. We were introduced to Valerie Baker of White Horse Dressage in El Dorado County, California. The girl who owned Duchess was at college and allowed Valerie to use her as a school horse. Liz took her first lessons on Duchess and one of Valerie’s other horses, an Icelandic Horse named Cowboy.
If there was one thing about Duchess that sticks out to me is how much she loved little girls. She was always calm when she had girls riding her and would do what she was asked – sometimes she would even do what Valerie asked the rider to do before the rider could even do it.
Our family was transferred when Elizabeth was 7. Right before we left, I took a photo of her kissing Duchess on the nose. It was the sweetest photo and one I cherish.
Not long after we moved, I learned from Valerie that Duchess had passed away. Everyone was heartbroken, it took me a long time to tell Elizabeth. We visited home that Christmas and after visiting with Valerie again, I knew I had to write a story for her and for Elizabeth. Valerie is truly an inspiration to me. She gave Elizabeth an amazing start. Elizabeth continues to ride today and grows as a leader at a barn in Washington State.
What is your favorite horse book (besides your own of course)?
It's hard to pick just one book that is my favorite. I read every horse book I could get my hands on as a child. The one that really sticks out in my memory would be Black Beauty. I read that book over and over. As an adult I would probably have to say The Lady by Anne McCaffrey or The Faraway Horses by Buck Brannaman.
What is your favorite motivational quote?
It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end. - Ursula LeGuin
This quote is especially inspiring to me as a writer. It serves to remind me that we don't create in a vacuum. Our life experiences shape who we are as a person and what we write on the page. It also serves to remind me that although we do have a goal to reach, it's what we experience along the way that matters.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time before you published your first book?
Cowgirl Lessons is my first published book. I have written several novels and novella length stories that are in various stages of editing. If I could go back in time I would tell myself that the process might take longer than you expect. It took nearly five months to finish the illustrations for Cowgirl Lessons at which point I thought I was going to publish within a few weeks. It took me another two months to get to the point of being able to release it. I would certainly tell myself to be patient.
If your book was made into a movie, who would play your characters?
It's so fun to pick actors who you would like to see as your characters in your book. Only this time it's more fun, because in a sense it would be picking someone to play myself, husband, and daughter.
So on that note, I would have to go with Chris Pine for my husband (I mean who wouldn't want to be married to him), Melissa McCarthy for me, and Rowan Blanchard for Elizabeth. Of course, Elizabeth did tell me she would prefer to play herself.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
My favorite page I wrote for Cowgirl Lessons would have to be when the girl comes in through the back door covered in barn dust and the mom takes one look at her and sends her to the tub.
I sometimes pick Elizabeth up from the barn and I swear she's been out rolling with the horses. It was at that moment that this story became "real" for me. I think any parent of a horse crazy kid will read Cowgirl Lessons and smirk when they get to that point because they have been in that same situation.
What’s next? Future goals for your writing?
I have a series of contemporary fiction novels in various stages of the editing process that take place in a small California town in the foothills.
More about Rae Rankin & her children's books!
What a spur jingling author interview!
A BIG thank you to Rae Rankin 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, Rae! #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!
Books by Carly Kade