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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Equus Education Blog Hop: Former Lawyer/Author

Christine Meunier-- Australian equestrian, author and educator of equine studies -- asked me to join her blog hop to get the word out on careers that involve horses. Even being a horse lover without a horse qualifies me to weigh in. So, here we go! (Make sure to check out Christine's blog, too.)

Christine: What is your horse related career?
  • I write mainstream thrillers that use the colorful world of horse people as a background and characters. Note I didn't use the word "equestrian" when talking about my characters. Horse people are far more entertaining than most equestrians. Ever been to a racetrack? Those men in grimy, threadbare suits, a chewed cigar dangling from their mouths, holding tout sheets are horse people. Colorful? Yes. Equestrians? No. 
Christine: Where in the world can we find you?
  • The short answer is Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. The long answer is in front of my keyboard anywhere that has decent internet. 
Christine: Is your horse career able to be carried out in part online?
  • In truth, I don't need the internet to write a story. That said, I put hours into research to make sure my settings ring true, the politics and dates are correct, and to make sure my dialects are spot on. My recent online searches were on the airlines dedicated to shipping horses internationally. What vet forms and vaccines are needed? Are horses sedated? Are they secured in a stall during a flight? Are quarantine requirements different in each country? Are requirements different for breeding stock or show animals? See? You need to know this stuff to write believable stories. Oh, yeah. And don't forget the social media marketing efforts that all authors have to be competent in.
Christine: Do you need a qualification to do your job?
  • It's not so much what you need as what you don't need. You do not need all of your marbles to dedicate yourself to writing fiction. I'm a lawyer by training, but not by temperament. Deciding to become a lawyer when I really hate conflict was a bad, bad career decision. However, law school made me into a better writer because each word that touches a page matters. Seriously. You can win or lose a case on the wrong use of one measly little word. "And/or" anyone? Also, legal writing has a definite point and direction from the first sentence on. So does writing crackling suspense novels. It's all about the persuasion of your reader.
Christine: What's the best thing about your job?
  • I love many aspects of what I do. The freedom to create is huge for me. Hearing that my readers have had a terrific reading experience between the covers of my books is tremendously gratifying.