At Local Author Day on Saturday, I was constantly picking things off the tablecloth in front of me, thinking it was hay that I had introduced into an otherwise clean environment. I was in town clothes and freshly showered, so there shouldn’t have been any chaff. It reminded me, though, of a story in Equus magazine that I had just read.
“In the fruit aisle I pushed my hair out of my eyes, and a large amount of hay rained down all over the strawberries. Nearby, a man with some kids gaped at me. ‘I have horses,’ I said apologetically. ‘I just fed them hay, and I guess some got in my hair.’ The kids perked up at the mention of horses, and their dad looked at me. ‘Horses?’ he replied. “That sounds glamorous!’” (1) The author goes on to describe the challenges she personally has faced in keeping horses in her life, as well as the highs and lows of horsemanship. Her conclusion: “It is not glamorous. It’s way better than that.” (2)
At Local Author Day I was seated between two other authors, and when customer traffic was slow, we got to know each other. All three of us were there, of course, because of our connection to equines and our desire to share our experiences with a reading audience. The author to my left was a former wrangler, and her book was filled with stories about taking clients on trail rides in the mountains. The author to my right was keen on dressage and also works part time for PATH, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Her books were mostly targeted at a young audience, filled with fantastical tales of unicorns and leprechauns and trolls.
I attended Local Author Day as a way to celebrate the publication of my two newest books: My Name is Madie and Fell Ponies: Observations on the Breed, the Breed Standard, and Breeding (click here for more information). I was rewarded with an incredible encounter with how small the world is. The author to my left, the wrangler, based her stories out of the little Colorado town where my husband was born. We actually met her parents’ mustangs when we returned to Allenspark for my husband’s elementary school reunion a few years ago. The author to my right, the dressage enthusiast, graduated from the same high school that I did in Lake Oswego, Oregon, as did her husband. I of course bought the wrangler’s book for my husband, and then I teased out the story about how the other author had also ended up in Colorado.
When Local Author Day ended, I filled out the evaluation form for the event organizers. One of the questions was “Was Local Author Day worthwhile?” I would have liked to have given a glamorous answer about selling lots of books, but most of us authors weren’t that fortunate that day. Glamorous? No, but to experience how small the world is and to learn about how other equestrian authors share their love of equines in their books, it was way better than that!
- Haas, Saumya Arya. “This glamorous life,” Equus, Volume 433, October 2013, p. 60.
- Same as #1.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2013