Three themes have been constant in my life…
It all started in first grade when I was recognized for a short story I wrote. It was my first effort at putting pen to paper and the thrill of being celebrated as a young author still moves me. It was a defining moment in my childhood and gave me the courage to be an adult author today.
In The Reins is a continuation of that creative journey. The story begged me to tell it. I’d been dancing through life for years with these characters in my head. I had to write their story down. Reflecting on the process today, it feels as if In The Reins just flowed out of me. And now, here it is - a story that demanded to be shared, through me, for you.
Passion for horses…
The real truth is it’s always been there … this love of horses … for as long as I can remember.
I can easily recall counting horses (from a backseat window that I could barely see out of) on family road trips, frantically scribbling numbers in notebooks. Of course, that was back when horses in roadside pastures were more commonplace than strip malls or office complexes.
I spent my days lying on the floor surrounded by crayons and colored pencils writing about (and drawing) my four-legged pals over and over again. I had them all – every My Little Pony, all the Breyer Horses. I never wanted to play with the dolls. I only wanted their loyal equine friends.
Then everything changed on my 10th birthday...
A purple halter wrapped in a brightly colored package came to me. I didn’t have a horse of my own to put it on, but I loved it anyway because it was purple (my favorite color) and it was an item for a real horse, not a plastic one.
Unbelievably, that halter turned into a birthday road trip that brought me to Missy. Missy was my first horse and the best life coach a young woman could ever ask for. Missy was my mount (not to mention my teacher, my partner, my best friend) through my adolescent years. On Missy, I was crowned my county’s 4-H Horse Queen and we won the coveted Palomino Western Pleasure class at the World’s Largest All Breed Youth Show.
I am ever indebted to my parents for that generous gift when I was just a little girl. It wasn’t always easy to afford her, but they did it anyway … because they knew that I loved horses and it wasn’t just a phase. It was forever.
Dreams (trying to catch those dreams anyway)…
When I graduated college, big dreams came knocking. I landed my dream job in the music industry as a Marketing Representative for one of the biggest music distribution companies in the world. I decided to try on a career in New York City. Heartbreakingly, I knew the city was no place for a horse. I took responsibility for my choice and found Missy her next home.
Through the years, I went on to work as an Artist Development Representative for Sony and Universal Music. I met a lot of rock stars, pop stars and all sorts of talent in between. I saw hundreds of live concerts. It was one of the most amazing times of my young adult life, but something was missing for me in the city, something never felt quite right.
Yep, you guessed it! No room for a horse in an NYC apartment … heck, there was barely room for me!
After several years of big city living, I accepted a promotion which took me back to my home state, Michigan. I was determined to own a horse again. There I found Sissy (my current horse) and met a cute cowboy.
That handsome cowboy became my hubby - the love of my life.
Soon after, we took an opportunity to move to Texas together. I wasn’t going to leave my horse behind this time (and my cowboy assured me I wouldn’t have to). So we made the three day trip south to the great Lone Star State with our horse, two dogs and cat stopping at human and horsey hotels along the way. Since then, we’ve found our way west to Arizona where I ride Sissy against a backdrop of mountains and experience the most breathtaking sunsets I’ve ever seen. I am one lucky cowgirl.
I’ve lived in the North, the East, the South and now the West and made two cross-country road trips with my beloved horse in tow. I’ve come a long way since that 10th birthday, but creative writing, horses, and dreams …
Well … those things have been the thread that’s run through my entire life.
So my inspiration comes from going places where cowgirl boots are the norm and welcomed. Places that are a little rough around the edges (and that’s a good thing). Places where people know how to fix things when they are broken. Places where people still hold a book in two hands. Places where people don’t mind if they get a little dirty. Places where people are willing to take a real roll in the hay or race across a field on horseback.
It’s the open places I love.
I wrote In The Reins from that place … for the cowgirl in all of us who loves horses, an engaging romance, and a sultry cowboy as the leading man.
I write for all women like me … horse crazy, book crazy, cowboy crazy. This book is for you. I know you – you are me.
About In the Reins
In the Reins, a novel inspired by the equestrian lifestyle, has been an Amazon best seller for more than 10 weeks, is an EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner for Best Western Fiction and has earned two Feathered Quill Book Awards in the Romance and Adult Book featuring Animals categories. The book is available now in Paperback and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
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!