Girls Horse Club Blog

INTERACTIVE VIEW: Alison Hart

Published by • Nov 9th, 2009 • Category: Guest Bloggers, Interactive View

The Interactive View with Alison Hart has ended. Please read the comments for many questions and answers with great information and inspiration for young horse writers.

Welcome to the INTERACTIVE VIEW, an interview where *YOU* ask the questions. Please welcome horse girl and author Alison Hart with a friendly chorus of nickers. Ms. Hart will respond to your questions from now until Friday November 13th.

To get started, read the intro and instructions below. Have fun!

Books by Alison Hart

Intro by Jonannah, age 14

ALISON HART is a Virginia author who also loves to ride horses. She is the author of more than 20 mysteries and historical suspense novels. The first being The Wild Dog, written at the age of seven which goes to show you’re never too young to write. Her books are suspenseful, on the edge of your seat books that will keep you reading — she loves to write books that keep readers glued to the pages.

Ms. Hart is the author of Shadow Horse and its upcoming sequel Whirlwind, both nominated for an Edgar Award. Her latest book is Horse Diaries: Bell’s Star. She is a horse lovin’ girl just like all of us, and is excited to answer questions galore!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Please be aware of our GROUND RULES, then simply scroll down and enter your question in the box that says ‘BE HEARD IN THE HERD’.
  2. Keep in mind this is not a live interview, it’s more like an ongoing party with people coming in and out each day. Ms. Hart will check in periodically and respond to your questions in her own words. Girls Horse Club will moderate.

89 Nickers »

  1. I have two questions to ask you. The first is what age were you when you started horseback riding, and the second question is what inspires you to write?
    -C.C-

  2. G’day Ms. Hart,

    I want to welcome you to our virtual barn. I must say i enjoy reading all of your books. My favorite would have to be “Shadow Horse”.

    My first questions would have to be “What age did you start having your stories published? And what advice would you give young pre-teens and teens (im 16) who want to publish their stories? I mean i can imagine how hard it would be to find young author publishers in day and age. ”

    Again welcome to the barn and im sure ill have more questions for you after i get by barn chores done. ;0)

    best
    HorseFeathers

  3. This is so exciting! I have only read “Shadow Horse” but I absalutly loved it! I didnt know that there was a sequel coming out! When will it be out or is it already out?

    Love in Christ
    ~Raechel~

  4. Hi!!! I was wondering how old were you when you began to write horse stories?

  5. Hello Ms.Hart! Welcome to GHC! I’m so glad you’re here! I adore your book “Shadow Horse” and I can not wait for its sequel!

    My first question would have to be “Do you have any tips for writing mysteries?” At the the moment I am writing a mystery for National Novel Writing Month and I need some tips :-)

    Welcome again, more questions will come and I hope you enjoy this week!

    (Jonannah)

  6. Hi Ms. Hart. I actually haven’t read any of your books yet, but I want to! It’s hard to find bookstores where I live. My question is, do you have a horse of your own? What’s he/she like?

  7. Ms. Hart,

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!
    What do you do when you get writer’s block, if you get it? Right now I am stuck…I would love to know any tips that you have on this subject.

    Thanks,
    -Raven

  8. I’d like to know if it is hard to get published? How many tries did it take before someone published you? THANKS FOR BEING HERE WITH US!

  9. Ms. Hart, I would like to know any tips for writing a good suspense story. And How old were you when your first book was published? Do you have any horses? Thanks for coming by our barn and answering all our questions!

    mustang23

  10. Hello Carolina Cowgirl! I assume that means you are from either North or South Carolina? I lived in SC for about three years when I started riding our fat pony named Ted. No lessons or saddle, and I fell off and broke my arm when I was six. That’s my horsey beginning.

    As for inspiration. Hmmm. It’s as if my brain is wired to make up stories. I can’t stop it! I have more stories trapped inside than I will ever write. I know that’s not a great answer, but inspiration has never been a problem–time to research and write is the problem.

  11. Dear Horsefeathers. Thanks for the hearty, horsey welcome!

    Yup. Chores come first. And my answer to you might help some of the other posters who love to write. I had been teaching school for about three years when my first story was published in “Hightlights” magazine for children. It was called “Dusty’s Disappearance” and was the true story of a pony that disappeared. However, before and after “Dusty” was published I had tons of rejections!

    Today, the internet has made publishing so much easier! (Not that you will get paid–but that’s a whole different topic.) There are several terrific online sites for teen writers. Go to http://www.teenink.com or http://www.merlynspen.org for starters. They have contests, tips, the whole works. Also every aspiring writer should read “The Young Writers Guide to Getting Published” by Kathy Henderson. Ask your librarian to get it through interlibrary loan, or if you are totally serious, buy a used copy and read it carefully!

  12. Hi Raechel! I like your unusual name and I am excited, too! What a fun way to talk about horses and writing.

    “Whirlwind” will be out in May 2010. I know, a long time to wait! But Shadow Horse was published in 1999, so for me, the sequel has taken over ten years to finally get published. That’s a really long time.

  13. Hi Peanut. I’m curious how you came up with your name? Do you love peanuts?

    I have been writing horse stories since I was six. (Billy and Blaze were my favorite books to read.) Publishing, however, was a lot harder. I didn’t publish until I was an adult and had been teaching for many years. That gives you an idea of how old I was without giving away my age!

  14. Hi Jonannah. First, thank you for your nice introduction on the site. Second, thanks for the kudos on Shadow Horse. And kudos to you for tackling National Writing Month. Isn’t that where you have to write a novel in thirty days? Remind me . . .
    Okay, now for mystery tips. Mysteries are difficult because you, the writer, have to know everything: clues, whodunnit, how the ‘heroine’ solves the mystery etc. yet as you write you must carefully set up each chapter to maintain the suspense and mystery from the beginning of the book to the end. This is not an easy feat. Since complete books have been written on writing mysteries, there is obviously no way to tell you everything in this one post. What you might do is take Shadow Horse and analyze each chapter, which must have a beginning, middle, end arc just like a book. Ask yourself: how did I maintain suspense through plotting,c haracterization and dialogue in each chapter? That might give you some clues!

  15. Hi Gypsy Vanner–another interesting name!
    I do have horses–two fat lazy ones. I ride Relish the Thought, a Quarter Horse for fun on the trails. My daughter’s old pony, Bell, keeps Relish company. Her other job is running around like an idiot when he and I go off into the woods.

  16. Hi Raven!

    Writers Block can happen to anyone, but for me, the solution is research. Usually when I get stuck, it’s because I need to find out something to make the story more interesting or propel it forward. For example, in Shadow Horse I got stuck writing about the rescue farm for horses–it just seemed blah–so I spent time on a real rescue farm and found so many neat things to write about that my block was gone!

  17. Hi Violet Inkpen! Thank you for the welcome! See my note to Horsefeathers about some cool sites to go to where teens can get published and learn tips about publishing. Also go to
    http://ohhorsefeathers.blogspot.com/
    for a post I did on writing. There’s a link to horse magazine writer’s blog with some tips. Publishing is hard work, and I had repeated rejections (and still do get rejected!) before I started selling my work. The key is practice and perserverance!

  18. Hi Mustang! Thanks for the great questions. I answered some of them in the other posts, so read over them. Suspense is fun to create. As I mentioned to Jonannah, read Shadow Horse, which is very suspenseful, or another exciting book, and analyze each page. How did the author create suspense? Suspense can be created many ways: dialogue, action, unanswered questions, cliffhangers, spooky situations. Good luck!

  19. I think I answered everyone’s question. (I hope!) Whew! My fingers are pooped and my horses are whinnying for dinner. (Though, really, they need to be on diets.) I’ll check in tomorrow to see who has more comments and questions. Thanks everyone!

  20. Hi Ms. Hart, I haven’t read your books yet, but they sound really good. I have some questions to ask you–how do you write action-filled stories? Also, do you have any tips on how to write science fiction? Thanks!

    -husky+horsegirl3

  21. Thank you for answering my questions! I am actually reading “Shadow horse” again. I love it and always find something new. Especially now that I am writing a mystery. Yes, National novel writing month is when you write a novel in a month. Its so fun, but kinda hard. I’m home schooled so it helps some with my writing, I’m a able to do more.

    Before I thought I would have never been able to tackle a mystery. But I have to say you inspired me and I got a fantastic idea!

    Heres another questions. Do you write an outline or do you just wing it? I definitely like writing an outline better. Much more organized!

    What do you do for filler? You know the fluff in between the big events. Is it a bad thing if there is some exciting, funny, or big event in every chapter? It just happens in my book. I get new ideas for the suspenseful and mystery part and it just plays out. Its kinda scary to think about if my story will turn out or not. Do you ever get nervous like that?

    Sorry for all the questions! And thanks again for doing this! I hope I did you justice with the intro :-)

    p.s yes May 2010 is much too long to wait for the sequel!!!! :-)

  22. Ms. Hart,

    Thanks for replying. I’ll try that research tip. I’ve never read your books, but I’ll look for them at the library.
    Thanks again!

    -Raven

  23. Cool! I got the name peanut because when I went to Domincan Republic when I was really young, all the girls calle me Peanut! Do you think it is possible for someone s young as m to get published? Thanks!

  24. G’afternoon, Mrs. Hart!!! It’s me, Wild’n’Free. I have a few questions: 1. When did your first book get published? 2. What is your favorite thing to write about? 3. Who’s your favorite horse (fictional or real) — what’s his/her name, age, color, etc. Thanks!

    –Wild’n’Free–

  25. Ms Hart,

    Thank you very much for the information and advice. I looked at the sites and i will defiantly be entering some of the competitions. Did you illustrate any of your stories? I wonder if its hard to have a story that you write and illustrate yourself. I love sketching and drawing.. especially horses. If you ever have time we have some champion artistic girls who place their art in the gallery. What do you personaly think about self publishing.. do you think it is a wise decision? On a career note.. my parents tell me that writing and art doesnt seem to make a full profit. Although its a great past time they believe that there’s always that chance that I won’t be able to support myself as a full-time writer or artist. How would you comment on this generaly speaking? Izzy my Andalusion riding horse says G’day to your Quarter. =0)

    thanks for coming to our virtual barn
    ~HorseFeathers

  26. Hey Alison! I’m so excited that I can chat with a real author! What kind of riding do you enjoy- Western, English, or both? Your books look really cool, but [sniff] I’m afraid I’ve never heard of them! Do you write any fantasy? Those are my favorites! ;] I’d love to read Shadow Horse, and all the others- especially Bell’s Star- is it from the horse’s point of view? I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy some of the wonderful blogs on GHC!

    Rochlia Starflight

  27. Welcome! I haven’t read any of your stories but i hope to! Ok, i have one question, that would be, i have some problems with lengthening my stories. Im looking to find a publisher sometime but as it stands now, my stories are only up to a page long. Any sugestions for how to expand Thier length?
    Welome again,
    Pal’sPal

  28. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read your books Ms. Hart, but they sound really cool, plus I love mysteries! I want to try and find some of your books as soon as I finish this stack of books I juts got from the library (animal books of course). Thank you for taking time to answer our questions!!! By the way, I think Relish the Thought is a really interesting name :) I never would of thought of it!

    Thanks again,

    ~~~Nevada Sunshine~~~

  29. Ms. Hart,

    I just have one question tonight- as an author, what did you do that helped you to suceed? Did you go to conferences or writer’s groups? Is there anyone, another author or someone, who inspired you?
    Thanks for your time,

    -Raven

  30. Sorry– that would be three questions, not one.

    -Raven

  31. Hi, Ms. Hart! I’m really glad you’re here, I’ve always wanted to be able to do this with an author! I have one question. Where do you get inspiration? I always have trouble getting ideas and it makes it hard to write a story.
    I haven’t read any of your books, but I want to and my friend says they are really good! Next time I go to the library I will look for them!

  32. Hi Ms. Hart, welcome to Girls Horse Club! Thanks so much for participating in this interactive view. I haven’t read any of your books, but they all look very interesting and I’d love to read them.

    When I write, there are times when my fingers don’t stop tapping on the keyboard and stories just pour out. But then, afterwards I sometimes get what is similar to a writer’s block. It feels like my creativity is all dried up and it’ll take a few days to “refill” it again. My writing doesn’t get anywhere during these phases. Is there a way to stop them? Thanks in advance!

  33. Hi ms. Hart

    I am wondering, what does Relish look like?

  34. Ms. Hart, thank you from the bottom of our hooves for taking the time to be here and respond to questions. Your experience and insight is greatly appreciated.

    Horse girls, just a reminder from your friendly moderator: Let’s make the most of our time with Ms. Hart. If you have a question, read the Q&A before you ask. I’m seeing questions that are already answered in the intro or in Ms. Hart’s responses.

    Thanks for doing your part to make this a meaningful event for Ms. Hart and all GHC’ers.

  35. Good mornin’ horse-lovers! I see a barnful of more questions. Thanks Lead Mare for pointing out that many of my answers to other posts would be really helpful to newcomers, especially those asking writing questions. I have to go teach my college class this morning, but this afternoon, I’ll be back to answer everyone. And don’t forget to check out my website–especially those who ask what I like to write about. Um, I think it’s obvious!

    AlisonHartBooks.com

  36. Dear Huskey+HorseGirl,
    Suspenseful stories need lost of action packed situations. See my reply to Jonannah yesterday about writing mysteries, which need lots of suspense!

    Sorry-I have never written science fiction (and I don’t read it) so I can’t give you any tips.

  37. Hi Jonannah,
    Some good questions. Yes, for a mystery, an outline really helps, because as I mentioned before, you the author have to know everything. That doesn’t mean that things won’t change as you write and the characters start to take over.
    I try never to have fluff in my chapters. Everything needs to move the plot forward. That doesn’t mean that every scene needs to be action-packed or mysterious. Again, look at the small scenes in Shadow Horse and ask yourself “how does this scene move the story/plot ahead?”

  38. Ms. Hart, I can’t thank you enough for being here! And thanks for answering my question earlier. Someday I hope to be published, because I just LOVE to write stories and I couldn’t live without horses! Like you, inspiration is easy to find. But sometimes it is hard to follow through with a story. Even if it is a good story, I always have new ideas floating around in my head.

    Do you have this problem? Do you ever have a hard time finishing a story due to excitement over a new idea? Do you have trouble focousing on ONE story line at a time? Do you have any advice for fixing this problem? I love to start stroies but sometimes I can’t finish them because there is too many other stories I want to write. I don’t get board with my story, just anxious for the next one.

    Once again, THANKS for being here! It is so special to have a real author hanging around our barn! My dream is to one day be an author, and if I do I’ll be grateful to Girls Horse Club for giving me a boost!

    VI

  39. Hi Peanut,
    Go to yesterday’s reply to Horsefeathers because there are sites online where you can get published.

  40. Hi Wild n’ Free–see my website alisonhartbooks.com which might answer some of your questions. My favorite fictional horse is the one I am writing about. I just finished writing about Twist, the pony in Emma’s River, my book that will come out in April 2010. He ends up being a horse hero, which was lots of fun to write about.

  41. Hello again Horsefeathers, You sound very serious about writing, illustrating and publishing so I would definitely get the book I mentioned in the first reply. It will help you immensely with those questions. Also, you might want to join SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Check out their site scbwi.org . The organization is a must for anyone serious about children’s books.

    I have been teaching along with writing my whole life. It is difficult to support a family on writing alone, but there are authors/illustrators who do it (and are usually struggling) and some who make the big-time such as the author of Twilight. I like doing both jobs because writing is very lonely and I love to teach, so it gets me with ‘real’ people!

  42. Hi Rochlia,
    Sorry–I don’t write or read fantasy. I find real life crazy enough! I was trained English, but now I throw a big ol’ saddle on my QH before heading into the woods. It’s much safer when Relish spooks at that scary looking rock. I am reading and enjoying the entire site–what a fun place for horse lovers to hang out.

  43. Hi Pal’s Pal,

    Okay, here’s the brutal truth. What you really need to focus on is spelling! Then worry about story length. One page is too short even for a children’s story. Head to some of those online sites that I mentioned earlier and read some of the teen stories published online. A short story needs an exciting beginning, middle and climax, and great characters. For me, it’s tough to flesh all that out in one page. Good luck.

  44. Hi Nevada Sunshine,
    I’m so glad you love to read. I get stacks of books, too. If your librarian doesn’t have any of my books, ask her to get some through interlibrary loan. It may take longer. I hope you enjoy them!

    (Relish came with his name. I would have named him “Big Goof.”

  45. Hi Raven,

    First, I went to a lot of writer’s workshops and read tons of books on writing. I also wrote, wrote, wrote–some really bad stories. Then I joined a writer’s group where we shared our stories–and got lots of good criticism. You sound like a serious writer, too, so you might want to join SCBWI (see today’s reply to Horsefeathers.) Are you in school? Then make sure you’re writing for the school/college newspaper, literary magazine etc. and take any advanced comp courses from the best teachers. It ALL pays in the end!

  46. Hi Toppyrocks,

    See yesterday’s replies to Carolina Cowgirl and Raven (on writer’s block) They might help!

  47. Hi Madelaina, See my previous replies on inspiration and writer’s block. Also, a busy life sometimes gets in the way of writing. Often, I need to refresh my brain with a walk or ride or just chillin’. That’s what your brain may be telling you–it needs time to refuel and dream! (My creativity sometimes comes at the oddest times.)

  48. Hey horsenut,
    Relish is a dark brown QH with a perfect white star. He would be gorgeous if he wasn’t so, umm, pudgy.

  49. Thanks horse lovers! I’m signing off for today but will be back tomorrow in case there are any strays in the herd who haven’t been heard or burning questions that I didn’t answer. Again, heed Lead Mare’s advice (or get a bite in backside) and read previous Q and A’s before posting.

    Thanks ya’ll!

  50. Oh, one last note for those of you who love to draw horses and one day hope to be illustrators. Go to http://www.ruthsanderson.com . She is the illustrator for the Horse Diaries series. Click on her blogspot link. She shows how she illustrated the books. If you go to older posts, she has Bell’s Star sketches. Very cool site/blog!

  51. Hey, sorry for not being on earlier, but I was completely swamped with NaNoWriMo and school! Argh!
    Hey Alison, just wondering if you’ve got any tips. And how come the ‘Horse Diaries’ series is written by a different author on each book?
    I’m so curious!
    ~Diana

  52. Wow, Ruth Sanderson draws horses REALLY good! I’m glad you posted that. Relish sounds cute, a lot like some other Qhorses I’ve known! I checked out your website, and I would love to read your books…they sound wonderful! What is your favorite horse novel?

    Rochlia Starflight

  53. Ms. Hart,

    Thanks for the advice- I am homeschooled but I am in a writer’s group. I’ll look up the SCBWI right now.
    Thank you for your compliment, and thanks for being here!

    -Raven

  54. Dear Ms. Hart,

    I loved the story Shadow Horse! I can’t wait for the sequel to be published.

    How do you like to start stories? I find it hard to start my stories rolling, and most of the time I end up writing all but the beginning of a story.

  55. Hi Ms. hart, Thanks for your advice!

  56. Hello again Ms. Hart and thank you again for doing! AND thank you for answering my questions :-)
    Now I have a couple silly questions. Do you have a favorite kind of horse? If so, what kind is it?

    And, is “Whirlwind” a mystery? I’m assuming so, but I wanted to make sure.

    I’m sure I’ll have more writing or horse questions later, but right now I need some breakfast! :-)

  57. Hey again Ms. Hart, I was just wondering if you minded me giving you a few suggestion for future books. :) my suggestions are: 1. maybe you should write a horsey mystery about the Grand Canyon! 2. a story about a horse going into space.
    by the way, I read some excerpts from your books on amazon.com and they are awesome!

  58. Oh My Goodness! i havent been on since summer, and its raining so i cant ride so decided to check this out again. my chin literally dropped when i saw you are writing a sequel! no lie, your book, shadow horse is probably my favorite. its such a unique storyline, and i loved the characters. the only part i didnt like was how it ended so suddenly, cause i wanted to see what happened to whirlwind. but now that your writing a sequel i love your books even more!! i really appreciate the sites you gave for aspiring authors. i love writing. my only problem is that i make my stories so elaborate in my mind that when i start writing i get stuck. do you ever have that problem?? right now i’m in the middle of an idea that i love ( actually i was going to work on it right after i was finished on here) but i dont know how to start it, and whether to do it in first or third person, or past or present tense. anyway thanks for answering all our questions, and i hope you can help me. I love your books and will be speeding to the bookstore ( actually, i’ll be hopping up and down in the front seat of our car while my mom carfully manuvers the roads) in may! ~ Lana and her horse Jasmine ( who loves it when i read your books aloud, although she enjoys chewing and licking the pages a little to much)

  59. Dear Violet Inkpen,

    Having too many ideas is a great problem to have, now you just need to learn to focus on the one story you are writing.

    One way to do this is give yourself a deadline. When I have a deadline, I am forced to focus. You might create a deadline; for example, you are going to share your story with GHC or post it or send it to an online source by a certain date. Learn to stick to that deadline, because believe me, you can be the best writer in the world, but if editors can’t trust you to get your work in on time, you will soon be unemployed.

    Another thing is to write each idea down and tuck it away in a file. That gives you permission to come up with great ideas and learn to save them. Because what you are doing–being distracted–is in your control. It’s also a way to avoid the hard work of putting your story down on paper, editing and learning that writing IS fun inspiration but it is also work.

    Good luck!

  60. Hi DianaLuv,

    You’ve gotta be specific on tips! For NaNoWriMo it’s simply keep those fingers tapping on the keyboard. As for Horse Diaries, I have no clue why they want so many different authors. I think I should write all of them! :)

  61. Hi Rochlia,

    I love each horse book I am writing the best, of course! Actually, there are few horses writers I like. (Sorry) Too many either don’t write well or don’t know horses.

  62. Hi, Ms. Hart! I haven’t heard of you (SOWY! :-<) but all of your books sound interesting! I have a question, are you coming to sign books or whatver in TN soon?! Hoping for Hope, Horse Phantom Freak

  63. Nice to hear from you Zanzibar,

    I try and start all my stories in the middle of a scene–with action or dialogue. For example, in my new book Emma’s River, which is set in 1850, Mama is pulling Emma along the wharf in St.Louis. Emma is protesting mightily plus she is checking on her pony who is tied to the baggage cart. Whirlwind, the Shadow Horse sequel, begins with a prologue to help the reader remember events in Shadow Horse, then the first chapter begins with Jas grooming Shadow who is trying to bite her. When you read books that you like, analyze how the author begins the story.

  64. Raven–I have really enjoyed talking to girls who love horses, books and writing, which are my three fave things!

  65. husky and horse girl,
    Your welcome!

  66. Dear Alison: I am very serious about writing. Iv’e written several chapter books, too! I’LL definitly look into SCBWI!

    God Bless and happy writing!

  67. Hi Jonannah,
    I enjoyed answering your questions. No, I don’t have a favorite kind of horse. And yes, Whirlwind is a super dooper mystery. Jas has to catch that creep Hugh, don’t you think?

  68. Yay!!! Yes Hugh definitely needs to be caught. such a creep! :-p :-) I seriously have to read more of your books! I adore your books :-) You are such a great writer!

    Do you like writing in 1st or 3rd person better? Its kinda an odd question, but I have a hard time deciding. My dad (who writes) saids he likes 3rd person better. But 1st person is more personal . . . I don’t know!!!!!

    Oh my goodness. I am not going to be able to wait until May. I’ll just have to read your other books before then!

  69. I’m pretty serious about my writing too. I’m hoping and praying I’ll be able to get my Nano wrimo novel published. Can you explain what SCBWI is? Thank you again for answering! I hope your having a fun week!

  70. Hi Ms. Hart!

    I have to say I’ve enjoyed all your answers to previous questions, I really appreciate how much thought you put into your responses. It makes all of us little aspiring writers feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. :)

    I agree with you when you say you’re not a huge fan of many horse book authors, just because they seem to leave out all the blood, sweat, and tears of the equestrian world — and I’m not even talking hardcore competitions. I tend to reflect that when I write fiction involving horses by taking on what is sometimes a verging on sarcastic tone. Do you think it would be better for me to avoid writing this way?

    Thank you so much for your time — any feedback from a successful author feels like a million bucks to me!

  71. OK i got all the muck out of the stalls.. and i can finaly get back online! lol.. maybe a bit to much info. Anywho, thank you Ms. Hart for answering all my questions. Those sites really helped out. I intend to join some of them.. for i am serious about my art and literature. ( i hope it can be a side career as i want to be an Equine vet or assistant). Just for a fun question.. i like to ask authors i meet “What was your most embarassing moment?” that is if you dont mind of course. Oh and have ever been to the Kentucky Durby? I’ve always wanted to go there to just watch the thrill of the races. Once last question for this evening.. Have you ever been to another country?

    best
    ~HorseFeathers

  72. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING ME! I am so excited you are here! I can’t wait to read your books! I saw them in the store once but didn’t have the money with me.

  73. Thank you for telling me when the book will come out Ms. Alison! I am very excited for it!
    Thank you : ) I’ve had a lot of people comment (not on here, just in general) on my name and its spelling!
    Yes it is a long time in between! I’m glad though that it will be out some what soon! I’m sure my older sister will too, she is actually the one who told me to read shadow horse in the first place!
    Thank you again so very much!

    Love in Christ
    ~Raechel~

  74. Thanks so much for the links and stuff, I’ll definitely look them up! Again, thanks sooooo much for coming to our barn! I can’t wait to read your books, most. def. got 2 look them up. Umm, I can’t think of any questions right now, everybody else took my questions!! lol. Tell your horse I said hi! Relish sounds super dooper cute!!! I don’t have a fave horse breed, but I luuuuv chestnuts, bays, black, and grays. And pintos. Okay, I like them all!!!!

  75. Dear Horse Phantom Freak (not sure where that name came from!) To reply to your two comments: Writing chapter books is great fun–keep at it. And no, I don’t really do book signings. Usually the only person who comes is my mother! But I did just drive through TN, which was really beautiful.

  76. To All aspiring writers: let’s see who’s the first to find the mistake in my comment to husky and horse girl. :)

  77. Lana,

  78. Hi Lana, I’ll try again. (I keep hitting the wrong key.) Thanks for your nice comments about Shadow Horse. I had terrific fun writing Whirlwind, so I hope the sequel doesn’t disappoint readers! You might enjoy some of my other mysteries. Fires of Jubilee and Return of the Gypsy Witch are two favorites of mine, but alas, neither has horses!

    See my reply to Zanzibar about starting stories–it might help. As for making stories too elaborate, that is one of the skills a writer has to learn: understanding what to put in and what only confuses the reader or slows the plot. For example, when I write a historical novel such as Gabriel’s Horses, I research for years, reading over 200 books on the Civil War, cavalry, Thoroughbred racing in the 1800’s etc. and visiting places like Churchill Downs and Lexington. But I probably only use 1/100 of the information I learn in the story(yet all is important in it’s own way.) It’s a skill that will develop as you continue to write. Good luck!

  79. Jonannah, SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s for anyone who is serious about writing for children and teens. Right now, you’d be best off going to teen sites and of course, continuing with GHC, but the site might have some information and tips to help you.

    Here’s my answer to ‘voice’ (point of view–first person, third etc.) I think a great author uses the voice that fits the book. For example, I have written in first person in the pov of a horse for Bell’s Star. Shadow Horse is written in Jas’s voice–third person. I have written fairytales/folktales in omniscient pov. Right now I am writing a YA mystery (no horses) where the pov switches from chapter to chapter from first person (a girl) to third person (a guy). And when I write nonfiction, there is no pov!

  80. Hi Julia, thanks for joining in. A sarcastic tone works great depending on whose voice you are writing in. It certainly worked for Gossip Girls, which is one big snarkfest. However, a good writer needs to practice different ‘voices.’ For example, a snarky tone works in my mystery Return of the Gypsy Witch about Allie a wannabe detective, but it doesn’t work in my Racing to Freedom series about a slave who longs to be a winning jockey.

    Try writing about different types of people in different situations: a young blind girl feeling the joy of riding a horse for the first time. You witnessing the birth of a foal. An older person having to put his beloved horse down. Sarcasm would be totally out of place in those scenes.

  81. Horsefeathers–glad you got those stalls clean! I have not been to the KD, but I have toured the racetrack and racing museum. No one terrible embarrassing moment–since I am a teacher, I have had to get used to many embarrassing moments! And last answer–yes, I have been to many countries in Europe. I did the whole backpacking and sleeping in hostels thing when I was younger. I must say, I am partial to the good ol’ USA.

  82. Thank you all for great questions and comments and lots of horse love!

    I’ll check in for the last time on Friday afternoon. All serious writers can e-mail me with serious questions. I love to encourage budding authors. See my site for my contact infor. Ciao!

  83. Ooh ooh!!! I found the mistake in your response to Husky+horsegirl. Is it you’re instead of your???
    :-)

  84. Yay! Thanks Alison. I haven’t really talked to you, but I’ll miss you on Sat.
    Maybe I’ll be on tomorrow…

  85. Jonannah is the winner!

  86. Yay!! :-) Now I have three final questions.

    Did you have a fun week with us at GHC?

    Are you working on any new books?

    And have you ever worked with horses on a second chance farm, like in “Shadow horse” ?

    Thank you again for doing this. I can probably speak for all the girls in saying we really had fun having you join our barn :-)

  87. I had so much fun and I learned sooo much while you were here, Alison! Thanks again for the links and the tips! I’ll most def put them to use! Thanks again, and hasta luega! (See you later)

    mustang23

  88. Once more I want to thank you. Since this is your last day I just wanted to send you off with a big Girlshorseclub shout out ‘MAY THE HORSES BE WITH YOU!’

  89. Sorry I missed out on all the fun. But thanks for taking the time for us girls. Happy horseing.