Today, I’m thrilled to welcome fellow equestrian author, Carly Kade, to my blog! Carly is one of those people who bursts with positive energy (interact with her on social media and you’ll see what I’m talking about). Although she resides in sunny Arizona, she’s actually a Michigan native (like me!) I read her romance novel, In the Reins, last year and recommend it to anyone who enjoys gorgeous horses, western riding or handsome cowboys.
About the Author: Carly Kade is an author of equestrian fiction. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle! She writes fiction about horses, horse shows, western pleasure and a handsome cowboy or two! Her books are for people just like her…crazy about reading, horses and cute cowboys! In her free time Carly enjoys competitively showing her registered Paint Horse and works on her next novel. In the Reins, Carly’s cowboy romance novel inspired by the equestrian lifestyle has been an Amazon equestrian bestseller for more than 10 weeks and is an EQUUS Film Festival literary award winner for Best Western Fiction. The novel is available now in paperback and eBook.
From the back cover:
McKennon Kelly. McKennon Kelly. McKennon Kelly.
Cowboy McKennon Kelly was the last thing Devon Brooke wanted to focus on after finding herself suddenly single. Looking for a fresh start to life, city girl and journalist Devon just wanted to go back to her country roots and focus on building a relationship with her newly acquired equine partner Faith.
Devon finds companionship in handsome bull riding ranch hand JD and delicate Green Briar horse farm owner Sophia, both who advise Devon to keep her distance from McKennon and “mind her p’s and q’s” around the quiet and eerily peaceful stables. Devon thinks it shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid the Adonis cowboy, but after noticing his skills and expert ways with training horses, she figures it couldn’t hurt to get to know him a little bit … right?
Devon follows the guarded cowboy to a horse show, where she is unprepared to learn she may not be the cowgirl she thought she was. After a near-tragic incident, Devon begins to realize that the more time she spends with McKennon, the less she really knows about him (or horses, for that matter), and his mystery just keeps getting bigger. Who is he really, what is it that everyone doesn’t want her to know, and why is this tight-shirted, spur-jingling, weather-eyed cowboy all she can think about now?
Interview with Carly Kade:
If you could spend the day with any character from your novel, who would it be? Why?
If I could spend the day with any character from my novel, I’d take a riding lesson from my horse training cowboy McKennon Kelly. McKennon Kelly came to me (like lightning) in the form of a poem. I vividly remember the day I furiously scrawled him in my journal. I didn’t want to miss a thing, a thought, or a moment of his inception. Thank heaven that I always keep a journal with me. That poem ended up being the intro to the book. McKennon Kelly comes from the part of me that is in love with love. My imagination had so much fun creating him. As I turned my words into a man, I took the best from the ones I once knew (and those I still know), the ones I’ve read about in my favorite books, all the ones I’ve imagined, and mixed those qualities with all the things I wish men could be then sprinkled in a little of what I imagined a cowboy who can make the eight on the back of a raging bull would be like … McKennon is the best little pieces of everything and everyone I’ve experienced in life. My heart was a flutter as I created him. I am proud of McKennon Kelly. I hope he sparks a smile across readers’ lips as they turn the pages of In The Reins. He certainly makes me smile as I continue to write his story in the sequel.
What attracts you to writing in the equestrian fiction genre?
I am happiest when I am in the saddle so it’s probably no surprise I was interested in writing a story about the bond between horse and human. Also, I knew I wanted readers to feel like they were falling for the leading man as they turned the pages of my book. Generating that kind of feeling was my goal – what I wanted to create for readers – so In The Reins naturally became an equestrian romance. I’ve always loved reading and have been riding horses since I was seven. I know that I sure wouldn’t be able to resist reading about a handsome cowboy who knows his way around horses so I wrote about what I knew … horses and cowgirl culture.
What time of day do you prefer to write?
I write in the morning before life has an opportunity to get in the way. I get up at 5:30. My husband and I start the day by walking our dogs then return home to meditate. Quieting my mind really prepares me for creativity! After I pour my first cup of coffee, I settle into my home office for my scheduled morning writing session. I am not a morning person but the commitment to my morning routine keeps my creativity alive. I made the rule to “touch” my story every day. As long as I stay engaged with what I’m writing, the world I’m creating is never far from reach. It’s when I’ve been away from my words for extended periods of time that I find it hardest to get back to writing it so I try not to let that happen.
What are you working on now?
McKennon and Devon’s story continues. Currently, I am working on the sequel to In The Reins and planning its release in 2017. The crazy thing is that the third book featuring the characters is bucking up a storm in my mind and already taking shape on paper! I am writing the second and third book simultaneously. I have having so much fun with the journey that this series is taking me on! I’ve learned that there are a lot of JD McCall fans out there so I’m already developing a novella that tells the tale of my bull riding heartthrob too!
What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?
There is so much research that goes into finding the right category for your book. I loved that Amazon had a section for equestrian books. I was happy to be able to categorize In The Reins alongside other horse books that I had read and fell in love with. These are the books that helped me realize I could write my own horse book. When I learned that In The Reins had broken into the top 100 (and then the top 12) my heart grew a thousand times its size because it meant that my writing was resonating with the audience I wanted to identify with and write for. I put together a promoted post celebrating my readers on Facebook to acknowledge their contribution to helping my book get there. I couldn’t have done it without them. Since then, In The Reins has gone on to be an Amazon equestrian bestseller for more than 10 weeks and has won the Best Western Fiction Literary Award at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York City. I’m so grateful and my spurs couldn’t be jingling more over my book’s success!
What subjects do you enjoy writing about most? Why?
I love writing equestrian fiction. I am a horse lover and a horse owner. When I am not riding a horse, you’ll find me writing about one. I was inspired to write In The Reins because I wanted to read a love story themed around the type of horse shows I liked to compete in. There are a lot of equestrian novels out there focused on dressage or jumping or rodeo but I haven’t found many that focus on competitive horse showing at breed shows like the Quarter Horse, Paint, Pinto or the Palomino Horse Circuits. In my writing I am particularly interested in showcasing the western pleasure discipline and creating stories that provide an honest depiction of the bond between horse and human.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Carly. It’s been great getting to know more about you and your books!
Stay tuned for my April Author Spotlight with YA thriller author, Nina Mansfield!