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Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I love getting inside an author's head. What is his or her creative process? What was the inspiration behind their work? How do they reach readers?
I think you'll find this interview with Carly Kade interesting and informative. Carly and I share a bit of turf. We write books that feature equestrians and horses. We also share winning Best Fiction awards at the EQUUS Film Festival! We met at last year's festival and I've been impressed with her marketing prowess, vision, and "get it done" manner.  I asked Carly a few questions and she had a lot to say and today's post is part one of a two-part interview. Today's post focuses on inspiration and drive. Part two will focus on craft and writing process.
Read on!
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?
It isn't always easy being a self-published author! There's a lot of heavy lifting involved in getting a dream underway. I am responsible for running my own business and that includes so many different facets from time management (that's right actually finding the time to write!) to deadlines to running promotions to generating publicity to website development to creating marketing materials to attending events to running social media channels to writing a blog and so much more.

Sometimes my head feels like it might actually spin!

​In addition to all that goes along with owning my own business, I have a "real" job, a patient spouse waiting to spend time with me, two dogs and a horse always looking for my love. I do what it takes to fit in my much needed barn time. In the saddle is where I get to finally hit refresh and have some me moments (although it feels as if it is never for as long as I'd like). Somehow though, I always make everything work and feel so fortunate to be able to have the life that I do. I am really proud of the creative life I'm inventing for myself so I think being a writer is a gift!  

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The biggest challenge is finding the time. 
When it comes to writing, my favorite Stephen King quote is, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” I often worry I won’t have anything to write, but then I sit and make the time and the story magically starts writing itself through me.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing IN THE REINS?  What would you do differently the next time?

My first book has been a terrific opportunity to learn and grow as an author. I did have the book professionally proof-read and edited prior to its release but ended up having to revise my manuscript after it was published to correct some editorial issues. It was very important to me that I improve the experience for future readers. This definitely was not ideal and not what I would have liked because some readers already had copies but it was a great learning lesson.  And, it won't happen again.

My advice (especially for self-published authors) is to edit, edit (then edit some more!) even after editing, look into having the book copyedited. Use beta-readers that you trust but who will give you honest feedback. It may prolong your release date but it is so worth it to know you put the very best version of your book into the hands of your readers.

With great power comes great responsibility. Don't learn this lesson the hard way like I did! Self-published authors often get a bum rap for not being diligent during the editing process. Now, that we have the opportunity and freedom (Hallelujah!) to self-publish our own work it is up to us to make sure it is up to snuff when we hit that publish button. Make the investment to ensure your work is at its very best before you share it with the world.

What do your fans mean to you?
My books are definitely written with horse lovers in mind (no matter which discipline they ride). I have found that my readers are just like me — horse crazy, book crazy, and crazy for handsome cowboys. 

When I learned that In The Reins had broken into the Amazon top 100 (then the top 25 then the top 5), my heart grew a thousand times its size because I knew it meant that my writing was resonating with my readers.

They are the audience I wanted to identify with and write for. They're bookworms, horse lovers, cowgirls, and connoisseurs of cute cowboys! I couldn’t have done it without my readers. I am so grateful for their readership because they helped the first book in my horse book series earn the esteemed Best Western Fiction literary award at the EQUUS Film Festival. My readers have helped my dreams come true. They mean so very much to me.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The In the Reins series is my creative journey. It just calls me forward so I keep following it. I’ve found that when something seems scary it’s usually the path I need to take. One of my favorite questions is “What do you plan to do with your ONE wild and precious life?” I think the answer to that question is different for each of us but chasing a dream … whatever the dream is … is likely the next step after answering it and is so rewarding.

My dream is to keep writing stories that make people feel. I want to write stories that give people escape. I want to write stories that people don’t want to put down. I want to get lost in my imagination and bring stories to life for others.

Oh, and you gotta tell us about horses!
I will own horses until I take my last breath. I love them that much. Horses give me peace. There is nothing more peaceful to me than the quiet bond between a woman and her horse.  I am happiest when I am in the saddle. The inspiration for my writing comes from time spent at the barn and riding my Paint. 

How did you come up with the idea for IN THE REINS?
I’ve always enjoyed creative writing, but I never set out to be an author. It just kind of happened when cowboy/horse trainer McKennon Kelly showed up as a poem that ended up as the intro to the book! Then this story begged me to tell it, but I still pondered whether I should write a book or if I even could. Writing a book is scary! You put your creative self on the line for people to hopefully enjoy, but also to judge.

One day, I asked my husband if he would read my manuscript to see if what I had written had any merit. One thing to know about my husband is that the only book series he’s ever read was the Hunger Games on our honeymoon. As he read my story back to me, two things happened — I sat there and thought to myself “who wrote this” and “where was I while I was writing it” because it sounded pretty good, and then I noticed that my husband was laughing, smiling and engaging with my words. He put the manuscript down in his lap and said to me, “This is really good. You have to keep going.”  So, I did.


Take a tour of Carly's website or her YouTube channel and you’ll notice her horse, Sissy, appears in the promotional videos for In The Reins as the lead horse character, Faith. Carly does all the marketing for the book herself so it's fun to see her own horse in film's the footage!

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