In this 40th Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow equine author Valerie Ormond. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, horse book lovers will meet the horse that inspired her to write horse books with an important message. She says, "I believe self-doubt is the single biggest obstacle to people achieving success. One does not have to be rich, famous, brilliant, or beautiful to be successful. It takes belief, and determination, to make a difference." I couldn't agree more. Happy reading!
About Equine Author Valerie Ormond
Valerie Ormond retired after a 25-year career as a naval intelligence officer and founded her own business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC. Valerie's novels, Believing In Horses, and Believing In Horses, Too, tell stories of a strong-willed young girl overcoming challenges based on her love of horses. Both books won gold medals and first place awards in seven book competitions. Valerie's non-fiction stories based on life experiences appear in numerous books and magazines, newspapers, and blogs worldwide have also published her stories.
Nice to meet you, Valerie! Now let's gallop into the interview.
What is your favorite horse memory?
In my very first horse show I rode a pinto pony named Uncle Bill, and I won a blue ribbon. I was 7-years-old, completely surprised, and happy that everyone seemed so proud of me. My grandmother, who had begun taking me to lessons, smiled from ear to ear, and I’ll never forget it. That memory actually helped bring me back into horses as an adult after a long break.
Why did you choose to write horse books?
When I retired from the Navy in 2009, I had the opportunity to spend more time at the barn with my horses, find more time for volunteer activities, and get to know young horse girls much better. I got an idea for a book in the middle of the night that I thought was an interesting story. I also thought the story could bring awareness to unwanted horses, recognize volunteers, and deliver some lessons I had learned over the years.
Do you write full time or part time?
I write full time, but not all creative writing. I founded and manage my own business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC. Most of my work is technical writing, which probably sounds dreadful to many people. But I’ve found all writing makes writers better writers, and I love being a small business owner. I also felt better about technical writing when I discovered one of my favorite authors, Sara Gruen, is a technical writer outside of writing her wonderful novels.
What advice can you share that might help aspiring authors?
I offer the same advice an author shared with me when I was starting: just write. He was quoting Stephen King with that phrase, and I highly recommend Stephen King’s book On Writing. Aspiring authors should also develop their craft through reading. Authors should recognize what they like and don’t like about other authors’ writing and hone their own craft. But they shouldn’t lose their own voices.
If your books are part of a series, would you share little about it?
My first novel, Believing In Horses, tells the story of a young girl committed to saving unwanted horses. My second book, Believing In Horses, Too, finds the same girl facing new challenges both in the show ring and with her therapeutic riding volunteer work. Many of my readers have asked for another book in the series, but I have not decided. In my books, I wanted to create awareness for issues surrounding military families, for the unwanted horse problem, and about the healing power of horses. I need for my books to have meaning, and that “cause” for the third book in the trilogy has not hit me yet.
Watch the Believing In Horses book trailer!
What was your inspiration for the horse(s) in your book?
The inspiration for the main horse in my books was my own horse, Lucky. Although I had owned other horses, he was my first untrained purchase. Fortunately, he’s a very special horse, and I’ve learned a lot. Many of the other horses in my books are equine “characters” I’ve owned or known who have each inspired me in one way or another.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
In Believing In Horses, Too, I wrote a chapter based on an Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) session. I had attended EAGALA training to prepare to write it and saw how valuable the therapy could be. I also worked with an outstanding EAGALA program focused on Veterans, and the owners assisted me in portraying the scene accurately. Besides enjoying writing that chapter, the most important part is that many readers have provided positive feedback on that chapter.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
People should believe in themselves and what they can do. I believe self-doubt is the single biggest obstacle to people achieving success. One does not have to be rich, famous, brilliant, or beautiful to be successful. It takes belief, and determination, to make a difference.
Discover more about Valerie Ormond & her books!
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Ormond
Buy the Books: http://believinginhorses.com/buy_books
What a spur jingling author interview!
A BIG thank you to Valerie Ormond 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, Valerie! #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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