I met Heather in New York City while attending the EQUUS Film Festival. We clicked over our shared loves of horses, books, and writing. I found Heather bright and engaging with a fresh perspective on many issues that vex horse lovers. I think you'll find her take interesting as well.
1.) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes of course! If someone says otherwise they would be lying. For me I find that time is always working against me. There is always something else demanding my attention. I own two businesses, and am a full time mother and wife. Balancing my writing, photography, animal massage clients, and of course riding my horse does not leave much free time during the day. Once my children are home it’s full throttle ahead for activities and being “mommy”.
I’m lucky to be hyper organized and have a flexible schedule so I try to write at least a few hours a day. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to tune others out because there isn’t a lot of quiet in my house.
That being said, I would love to have a Time Turner because the days go by faster than I would like. I just never seem to get as much done as I want to! I’m pretty sure most working parents feel the same way.
2.) What do your fans mean to you?
I’m still a new author having published only one book, and working on my second. Fans and readers are everything to an author, and especially to me. I spent my life writing stories but being too afraid to share them for fear they wouldn’t be good enough. Fear of rejection can be a powerful thing. My first blog post I was nauseated and only comforted by the thought that perhaps no one would read it. But of course I feared that as well. The same goes for my books.
To have someone buy my book is amazing. But to have them go out of their way to write an Amazon review or to tell me how much it made them laugh or relate? That’s priceless. We live in a world where everyone is accessible. Social media and the internet can have a way of bringing people together and making the world seem small. To focus on the positive and tell an author their writing means something? There is no greater compliment. All writers know that words matter. So for all you fans out there- thank you.
3.) Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I honestly couldn’t tell you about the first story I ever read. But it must have been amazing because I’m a lifelong reader and have been since my earliest memories. To this day I love getting lost into the world contained in books. To read the words on the page is one thing. But to become part of the story? Visualizing it in your own head. Writing is a symbiotic partnership between author and reader. One cannot exist without the other. And each reader may learn something new or create something different in their minds from another reader of the same text. That, is the truest form of magic.
4.) What motivated you to become an indie author?
Confession: I am a bit of a control freak. While I love the idea of working with a publisher, I have a clear picture of how I want my books to look and feel. Self publishing really called to me because while there is a learning curve, I have complete creative control. Yes, there are limitations such as access to professionals with experience in design and marketing, but the mistakes are mine and mine alone as are the successes.
Now that is not to say I would never consider working with a publishing company. I’d like to experience that first hand as well. But knowing that I’ve created something from start to finish gives me a sense of immense satisfaction.
5.) How did you come up with the idea for your book?
First hand experience! As a horse crazy girl I would find it crazy when other equestrians would cancel their lessons last minute. After all, I was always looking for more time in the saddle. I decided to write a blog post for Bridle & Bone about all the crazy excuses we tell ourselves and our trainers for why we can’t ride. I asked my fellow equestrians on social media for some excuses they had used and the responses absolutely poured in. Each was funnier than the last. So I decided to turn it into a short and sassy book, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses. To my surprise and excitement it became a 2017 Literary Selection for the Equus Film Festival!
I’m working on my next book, Confessions of a Timid Rider, to be published later this year. It’s based on the most popular series of my blog which serves as a personal diary of sorts. You see, I’m a returning adult equestrian with a lot of self-deprecation and fear of injuring myself in front of my children. I’m extremely hard on myself and think way too much. But my passion for horses is greater than my fear and I keep pushing myself. Make sure to stay tuned for it’s publication. It’s for every woman who was afraid to do something but didn’t let that stop her.
6.) Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
Often I find story ideas come to me while I’m doing something like driving the car, or riding my horse. Then I can’t think of anything else until I get it down in writing! Last night I woke up with a great opening line for a freelance article I’m working on. It’s like a little voice in my head that won’t stop talking until I start writing. Is that normal? Probably not, but I’d like to think it’s inspiration rather than something more alarming.
7.) Where is your favorite place to write?
I absolutely cannot write at my desk. I try and it’s just so uncomfortable. So often I will find myself writing on my sofa, with my two rescue dogs trying to use me for a pillow. It’s so much more comfortable even if sometimes I have to move a furry head off my laptop keyboard.
8.) Tell us about your horse(s) and how horses influence your writing.
This is such a loaded question! It’s taken me 40 years to have my own horse. Much of my writing the last year has been about my burning desire to have my own horse and the connection that I dreamed of having. As of January this year I now have Ferrous in my life. He’s an 11 year old Welsh pony cross and he’s basically that much sought after unicorn. At 14.2hh not only can I ride him but so can all three of my daughters. He’s quiet and forgiving enough to walk/trot with 6 year olds and athletic enough to go into a frame and jump with me. He’s not hard to look at either, being a red roan and full of personality.
Going forward with my writing I expect my passion will remain. But now rather than taking care of horses that are not mine, I have first-hand knowledge of horse ownership myself. I’m sure this will give me a lot more experience and perspective that I can use in my writing. More, I hope that having my own horse will help inspire more confidence in the saddle.
Heather Wallace is a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT), Certified Canine Massage Therapist (CCMT), and Aromatherapist. An overachiever by nature, Heather is always seeking to learn more to help animals of all kinds. As the writer and photographer for her blog, Bridle & Bone, Heather is working diligently to reveal to the world the benefits natural therapies for animals. Heather has written for a number of publications including Sidelines Magazine, Holistic Horse Magazine, Good Dog Magazine, and Equine Info Exchange. Her first book, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses was a 2017 Literary Selection for the Equus Film Festival and she is busy working on her second book, Confessions of a Timid Rider, due to be published in 2018.
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BIO: Heather Wallace is a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT), Certified Canine Massage Therapist (CCMT), and Aromatherapist. An overachiever by nature, Heather is always seeking to learn more to help animals of all kinds. As the writer and photographer for her blog, Bridle & Bone Heather is working diligently to reveal to the world the benefits natural therapies for animals. Heather has written for a number of publications including Holistic Horse Magazine, Good Dog Magazine, and Equine Info Exchange. Her first book, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses was a 2017 Literary Selection for the Equus Film Festival and she is busy working on her second book, Confessions of a Timid Rider, due to be published in 2018. You can follow her on social media @bridleandbone or at www.bridleandbone.com.