It's my blog and I get to brag if I want to! (Hmm. Isn't there a music riff that goes with that?)
I'm over the moon excited that The Wake won Best English Fiction at the EQUUS International Film Festival in New York City this week!
I'll have more pictures and more to say later, but for now, I wanted to share the news with you!
EQUUS Film Festival is a celebration of the horse in art. The three day event included showing documentaries, feature films, shorts, and commercial work as well as photography, multi-media and, of course, books!
I was more than a little nervous as my books were the only art there that did not feature a horse on the cover or image! Seriously! Take a look to the right of this page. See a horse? Nope. That was a head-scratcher for some folks. What's a mainstream thriller doing at a horse event?
But here's the thing. EQUUS Film Festival is passionate about how horses in art elevate the messages of beauty, connection, and healing. You heard it. HEALING. This is where EFF's passion and my inspiration meet. The Wake's story line was inspired by witnessing the power of healing through the eyes of physically and emotionally challenged hippotherapy clients. (Wait, what? Hippotherapy? Yes. For you muggles out there, hippotherapy is horse-based physical and emotional therapies performed with a licensed therapist using the horse as a platform.) My twist on the thriller genre is to use this therapy to heighten suspense and sharpen my plot.
My main character, Jessica Wyeth, is a world-class equestrian entangled in international crime. I'm pleased that my books resonate with avid readers and horse people. I get my details right and crank up the tension. If I screwed up anything to do with horses, I'd be shunned and turned out to pasture by horse folks.
And this is why I'm so darned pleased to win this award. The Wake follows in her sister's footsteps, too. The Troubles won the same award last year, so I'm a two-fer!
Horse people can live in a horse-centric bubble. My books resonate because they reach a wider audience and pierce that bubble. I've already heard from readers who had never heard of hippotherapy and tried it to achieve great success in battling PTSD.
The films and documentaries at EFF told powerful stories and showed transformational moments where the horse was a major factor in healing.
Oh, and my next book? No horses (yet), but it was inspired by my volunteering as a horse handler during therapeutic sessions with survivors of human trafficking.
Okay. I'm done with my end-zone dance. Now, back to work.
|Connie Johnson Hambley's THE WAKE won Best English Fiction|
at the EQUUS International Film Festival in New York City.