Girls Horse Club Blog


Published by • Mar 30th, 2007 • Category: Books & Writing, Interactive View

Welcome to the INTERACTIVE VIEW, an interview where *YOU* ask the questions. We’re thrilled to have another talented horse girl agree to hang out in our virtual barn and chat with members. Let’s see what we can find out about Toby Bishop’s life as a science fiction and fantasy writer, what inspired her book about winged horses, and anything else you’re itchy to learn from this amazing lady!

Please read the intro and instructions below to get started!

tobybishop.gifINTRO: Meet TOBY BISHOP, author of our fave new horse novel AIRS BENEATH THE MOON, book one of The Horsemistress Saga.

Like most horse girls, Toby was born with a love for animals. She was fortunate to have a wonderful childhood growing up with horses (Icelandics, Quarter Horses, Paints) while living in California and Montana. When she wasn’t riding, Toby loved to read (especially sci-fi and fantasy) and draw horses.

Airs Beneath the MoonOn the trail of life, Toby’s path has had some interesting twists and turns. She started her professional career as an opera singer and teacher. During summers when her schedule was light, she spent time writing for fun. After showing her work to others and receiving positive encouragement, Toby decided to take writing classes and attend workshops. Eventually she left her music career to pursue her passion and talent for writing.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please be aware of our Ground Rules, then simply scroll down and enter your question or comment in the box that says ‘Leave a Reply.’ If you don’t see the box, click the ‘Comments‘ link at the top of this post.

Keep in mind this is not a live interview, it’s more like an ongoing party with people coming in and out each day. Toby will check in periodically and respond to your questions in her own words. Girls Horse Club editors will be standing by to moderate, and we may even join the party with a question or two ourselves!

04-30-07 UPDATE: Questions are now closed. Thanks to Toby for taking time to hang out at Girls Horse Club and answer our questions, and thanks to all who contributed the great questions — it wouldn’t be an Interactive View without YOU!

97 Nickers »

  1. Hi, girls! I’m looking forward to talking with you. It’s a busy day at the Bishop household (my Scottish terrier, Piper, is demanding a walk), but I’ll check back often.

  2. hi toby! how long did it take to write your book?

  3. Ms. Bishop, I cant wait to read your book! It sounds fantastic. I was just wondering if any characters in your books resembal people (or horses) in you life? Thanks.

  4. Hi, Sydney:
    This book took me about twelve months to write. Usually books take me longer, but my editor and I were in a hurry! It was a lot of fun to do.

  5. Hi, Julia:
    I hope you like AIRS BENEATH THE MOON when you read it!

    Characters in my books often have things in common with people I know, but to say they resemble them might be going a bit too far. Writers borrow from all sources of inspiration. Actually the main character of AIRS BENEATH THE MOON would be a girl something like all of you at Girls Horse Club–young, smart, an animal-lover, with most of the issues young girls have.

    It’s clever of you to ask about the horses, too! They do indeed have their own personalities, just like all the horses you know do. Lark’s horse, who she calls Tup, is a handful, spirited and intelligent and sensitive. He’s a lot like my dog, Piper, with that terrier attitude. I borrowed a good bit of Piper’s character to create Tup.

  6. I’d love to read the book! Is it on sale in England? And where? I live in England so it’s hard to find things on this site in shops.

  7. Thank you. Now I want to read it ten times more. :D

  8. Hi, Em:

    I’d love to have you read the book, and yes, you can buy it in England. Can you use It’s listed there. Also, your local bookshop should be able to order it if they don’t have it in stock. And if you do read it, please let me know if you enjoyed it!

    I love England, by the way. I wrote a book partly set in 18th century London, and had great fun reading all about England at that time.

  9. Julia, are you the Julia who wrote that beautiful poem, “The Guardian Angel”? It’s wonderful!

  10. I just read your book, and loved it, by the way. I like names, and in my spare time i look at names and their meanings and origins and all that stuff. I noticed that Phillipa means lover of horses and William means something about very determined. Oh, and Hester is home ruler, I think(very fitting:D ). Did you name more of your characters after their names meaning?

  11. Yes, I am. Thank you so very much! It means a lot to me.

  12. Hi, Findabhair:

    I’m not sure I know what your name really is, so forgive me. And yes–a propos of that–I love character’s names, and what they mean. The funny thing about Philippa’s name is that I chose it, after much thought, without knowing that it meant “lover of horses.” Characters’ names are so important to me, because they help to determine how the character develops throughout the book.

    I’m so glad you liked AIRS BENEATH THE MOON! Thank you for reading it, and for having a thoughtful response to it. You know, we work so hard on our books, and we become so connected to our characters, whether human or horse or hound, that the way readers react feels almost personal. So I’m more than delighted you enjoyed the story.

  13. Julia, that’s wonderful. We’re colleagues.

  14. Ms. Bishop,
    What is your advice for writers? I love to write and would like to know pointers on how to make my stories better. Thanks!

  15. Hi, ponyprincess:

    It’s wonderful that you love to write! The first thing to do is something I’ll bet you’re already doing, which is to write, and write a lot.

    There are a few things you can think of as you work on your stories. All stories, of course, are only as successful as the characters in them–character IS story, is one way of putting it. It’s good, too, to remember that conflict is at the heart of good fiction. Characters have to have problems, or challenges, or needs, or desires, something which creates drama.

    One more thing to think about as you write is that it’s better to show an action than to tell about it. We say, “Show, don’t tell,” or “Dramatize, don’t narrate.” Does that make sense to you? In other words, I wouldn’t tell the reader that my character fell off her horse and broke her arm, I would write the scene out, with all its excitement and fear and pain. And then, of course, I would write about how she and her horse worked out their problems!

    I did fall off my paint horse once, actually, and I did break my arm. It didn’t hurt all that much, but I had to deal with being anxious about riding for quite some time afterward. That was where the real drama was!

  16. Hi Toby: We really appreciate having you around our virtual barn. :) I have some horsy questions for you:

    How has your experience with horses impacted your life and work?

    And is there one horse who holds a special place in your heart? If so, tell us about him/her.


  17. My grandfather gave me a pinto mustang when I was just old enough to ride by myself. I loved that horse SO much. Her name was Patches, and she was trained in a very old-fashioned and not very nice way called “whip-broken”. That meant that if someone stood behind her and slapped his thigh with a hand or a quirt, she would whirl to face him, because she’d learned if she didn’t, her trainer would hit her. I hated that, even when I was young. I think I knew, instinctively, that there was a better way to work with horses. But a long time ago, people didn’t take much time to understand and communicate with their horses. Still, Patches and I did beautifully together. I think she knew I was young and inexperienced, and she was a gentle and affectionate old mare who didn’t let her rough background get in the way of OUR relationship.

    Now people like Parelli and others are teaching a different kind of training, and that is so much kinder–and more effective!

    Horses were such a big part of my youth, I can’t imagine having grown up without them. They show us that a big creature can be gentle, and also easily frightened. And my horses taught me that I have all the strength I need to tackle hard jobs and exciting challenges. I love being on horseback, sort of looking down on the world from that height. I also love trying to understand how an animal is thinking, and trying to work with them instead of against them. It’s a good life lesson, and I think we women–and girls–are particularly good at that.

  18. Hi! It was always my biggest dream to have a horse. And yours? Horses are my favorite animals!

  19. Hi, Ariel. You have a gorgeous name!

    There were always horses around when I was growing up, quarter horses and a Morgan, an Arab for a while, and several pintos or paints. I thought I would always have horses in my life. Now I get my horse fix at my sister’s ranch, because she has three of them. One is a blind gelding, and another is a younger gelding who watches over the blind one, guides him to water and to his stall–it’s really great to watch.

    I don’t know if I love horses or dogs more–both, I guess! My Scottie is the dearest animal in the world to me at the moment, because he’s with me almost every hour of every day. But I do love seeing my sisters horses taking care of each other. When I go to the ranch, I always help her clean stalls and feed, just so I can touch the horses!

  20. Hi Toby!
    I was wondering what your favourite breed of horse is?

  21. Hi, Animals! :-)

    I think my favorite breed is the Quarter Horse, but that’s only because I know them so well. Oh, and of course, the winged horses of Oc, because I know them REALLY well–since I invented them! But I’m also quite interested in the gaited horses. My editor in New York is going to buy one, and I hope I get a chance to watch her ride.

    I based the winged horses on the Lippizaner Stallions, who perform the “airs above the ground”. Have you watched them on television? You can find them on the internet, too, and it’s just amazing to see what these big white horses can do!

    What’s your favorite breed?

  22. My fave breed is a Quarter Horse, too!
    Thanks for the tips! How did you come up with the title? How did you get the idea of the story, anyway?
    I haven’t read your story yet, but would love too!

  23. Hi, ponyprincess:

    You’re welcome! :-) I took the title from the Lippizaners’ Airs Above the Ground. I was out walking Piper, and just thinking about my story, and these wonderful horses, and it appeared in my mind like magic. I love the title, and I love the cover (Allen Douglas painted it).

    The idea of the story came from my editor at Ace Fantasy. She said she kept having this image in her mind of winged horses, and we started talking about what that might mean. We chatted for half an hour, and by the time we were done, I had the Horsemistress Saga settled on (there will be three novels) and the Academy of the Air planned out.

    Now, when you read the book, you’ll know how it all got started!

  24. hi toby-
    have you written any books before this? when did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?
    *i haven’t read the story yet but i would really like to!*

  25. Do you write lots of sci-fi too? where do you get the ideas? and what are the titles of some of your other books so that i may hunt them out ? (i love being in homeschool curriculum where reading counts as scool)?
    ps findabhair is pronounced Finaveer. its irish

  26. Hi Toby!
    I really like New Forests.I’ve read about Lippizaner Stallions but never seen them,some of the leaps they do are amazing!

  27. Dear Sangeeta:

    I have written books before AIRS BENEATH THE MOON, but I wrote them under a different name, Louise Marley. Sometimes authors use pen names for different reasons. One of my other books, SINGER IN THE SNOW, is a young adult fantasy. The others are science fiction and fantasy–eight of them! I can hardly believe it myself.

    I was a singer in my first career, and that gave me the idea for my very first book, SING THE LIGHT. When I figured out how this business works–that is, how to actually finish a whole book–I got really excited, and went on to the next book, and the next, and so forth.

    And I would love to have you read the book and then tell me what you think of it.

  28. Dear Findabhair of the wonderful name!

    One of my other books, THE GLASS HARMONICA, features a young Irish girl named Eilish who meets Benjamin Franklin in London in the eighteenth century. You might enjoy that one. (The author’s name on that one is different, though: Louise Marley.) You might also like SINGER IN THE SNOW, especially if you like music.

    More Toby Bishop books are coming! I’m in the middle of writing the third one now.

  29. Dear Animalsrkool:

    I had never heard of New Forests, so I looked them up! They’re wonderful. I can see why you love them. I found a beautiful web page devoted to these amazing ponies.

    When I was a kid we had an Iceland pony named Tuffy we all adored. We rode him bareback all the time, and he was so sweet that half the time we didn’t bother with a bridle. Not all horses are so easy to get along with, of course!

  30. *cackle*
    To the library I go!!!
    Do you plan your books out chapter by chapter or do you find out about the story as you write? You talked about finding out how to finish a book. How did you go about that?

  31. Dear Findabhair:

    I wish I could see you, to see if you match your enchanting name!

    I do plan out my books, not chapter by chapter, but I like to know where I’m going. That’s one of the things I learned about finishing a book . . . that if you know where and how you want it to end, the writing goes much more smoothly. I write a synopsis, which gives me a good idea of the shape and pace of the story. However–and this is important–I am always free to change the shape as I write if a better idea comes to me! (I can change the ending, too, but I’ve never done that.)

    Writing a book is a bit like building with blocks . . . one layer at a time!

  32. Hi, girls:

    I just came from a science fiction convention, where I had a long chat with one of the top editors in our field of publishing, who also rides dressage and has an actual Lippizaner in her stable! He’s five years old, and just beautiful (she had a photo on her cell phone). He was born black, at her own ranch, and is now pure white. It was great hearing her talk about training and riding her horses. Like me, she believes in gentle training, and in not rushing horses into the saddle. Her Lippizaner will still be strong and healthy when he’s thirty years old!

  33. Wow! That sounds so cool!I always get Lippizaners muddled up with Andalucians(not sure if i’ve spelt that right),another beautiful horse!Riding bare-back is great,have you ever ridden western?I’ve never heared about Iceland ponys,I’ll look them up!

  34. Hi, Animalsrkool:

    Maybe it’s confusing because both breeds are used for dressage. Here’s what Wikipedia says: “The Andalusian horse or Spanish horse is one of the purest breeds of horses in the world today. It is also known as the PRE (Pura Raza Española; in English, Pure Spanish-bred) in most countries because of the work done by the Spanish studbook in promoting the pure bred horses around the world. It is one of the two sub-breeds of the Iberian horses, and extremely similar to the closely related Lusitano breed.

    Andalusians have been used for all manner of riding horses, and were the preferred mount of kings over many centuries. They excel in high school dressage and are used in cattle work and bullfighting in their native Spain. They are highly intelligent and learn very quickly.

    Partbred Andalusians are popular as sport horses in many countries. They also excel at classical dressage and are used for show jumping and other equestrian activities.”

    And here’s what Wikipedia says about the Lippizans: The Lipizzan, or Lipizzaner (Slovene Lipicanec), is a breed of horse closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria where the finest representatives demonstrate the “high school” movements of classical dressage, including the highly advanced “airs above the ground.” The Lipizzan breed dates back to the 16th century, when it was developed with the support of the Habsburg nobility. The breed takes its name from one of the of the earliest stud farms established, located near the Kras village of Lipica (spelled “Lipizza” in Italian), in modern-day Slovenia, near Trieste, Italy.

    Aren’t horses amazing? And yet I learned, when I was writing AIRS BENEATH THE MOON, that horses are believed to spring from just three foundation breeds.

  35. Oh, I forgot to answer about western riding! I always rode western, and actually rode working quarter horses, rounding up cows and doing a little bit of western pleasure competition.

  36. I once watched a ten-minute movie about Lippizaners. It was amazing to watch them.
    I also went to a fair and saw a horse do the Capriole. It is when a horse jumps in the air and kicks its back legs out at the same time. It was used by kings a long time ago to kill foot soldiers in battles. it can take up to ten years for a horse to learn it!:0

  37. We forget that the dressage elements had their roots in war. The destriers that were the war horses in those days were huge, but really agile.

  38. I think there are so many differnet types of horses, hot just breeds but every horse has its own personality. I think that is why they are so much fun to write about. I think that’s why ficticous horses are so believable.

  39. Hi, Julia:

    Isn’t it the truth? Fiction can come straight from reality sometimes. And I do think that if horses are treated properly and with gentleness, their own delightful personalities can develop. I’ll never forget my sister’s young gelding guiding her old, blind one around the pasture. People who don’t know horses might not believe they can be kind, or that their feelings can be hurt, or that they can love each other–and us!

  40. Yes, most definantly. My favorite (or one of my favorites) horse is quite a character. She’d be a pretty neat horse to write about, which I will eventually get around to doing. I think it’s amazing how people who don’t know horses closely think of them as just obedient animals when really they are so much more.

  41. Most people think horses are like cars or bicycles; you just hop on and go wherever you want to go!

  42. That is so true!

  43. I’m often on panels at science fiction conventions dealing with the proper treatment of horses in fiction; too many writers love to have their characters galloping for hours, without regard for what their horses need! Any of you Girls Horse Club members would throw a book like that right out the window, wouldn’t you?

  44. Hi Toby! IMHO if it’s a really great story, I wouldn’t throw it out the window if certain details were handled with artistic license. Many stories (books, movies, etc.) don’t address basic human needs like eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom. Thank goodness. :)

    But your point is well-taken — if a writer doesn’t research and *know* their characters (and not just the human characters), chances are the story will suffer. You did such an amazing job making fantasy horses feel real. It’s obvious you know (and love) horses and that’s what makes your book so exceptional.

    (this from the girl who was so ticked off that the Horsez package showed a foal with a backwards saddle on it, but didn’t finish the game mainly because it was frustrating and ordinary not because the package designers didn’t do their research)

  45. There’s something really weird about that picture . . . it makes me feel sort of queasy! Even the foal’s legs are all wrong–maybe it’s an alien? I could go to Google Images right now and find a hundred good pictures of foals to use as models!

    And as to basic needs: I think, in most fantasy and sf novels, the writers actually DO know how the people or animals eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. It’s just not always necessary to put those details into the book! And horses, as we all know, need lots of potty space.

  46. I see what you mean,one leg looks kinda backwards.Whats western riding like?

  47. The western saddle makes a big difference in the riding style. Posture and hand position are still important, but I believe with an English saddle, the rider uses more of her own muscles. Western saddles are designed to hold lots of equipment–ropes, saddle bags, and so forth, and to stabilize the rider to do working activities. I’ve always wanted to learn to ride an English saddle! Is that what you do, Animalsrkool?

  48. I looked at it and it is strange! If that is a foal, then the human is tiny. If the human is the right size, the foal is HUGE!
    If its a horse, it looks like a foal with long, backward legs! See what I mean?:-)
    Ms. Bishop,
    Did you learn riding at a early age?
    How long does it take to publish a book?

  49. Hi, Pony:

    I don’t remember learning to ride–that’s how early it was. In the picture above our chat I was six, and I think I had been riding before that. My father was a doctor who loved horses and everything associated with them, and we spent all our spare time either riding or working with the horses he had. One of my earliest memories is riding behind Dad on the same Morgan mare that’s in the picture, while Dad taught me to count to a hundred.

    Publishing a book can take a few weeks or a few years! It depends a lot on who the writer is, who wants to publish the book, and whether there’s a reason to hurry. I would guess that the average time is about year from the time the book is turned in to the publishing house until it appears in print.

    Now a question for you, ponyprincess, and some of your buddies at should I give up capital letters? It seems like you girls and a lot of other young people never bother to capitalize! Does using capitals make the rest of us look old? :-)

  50. ok so i’m not ponyprincess,but it doesn’t really make you seem old,i use capital letters for words like HUGE or for if someone’s shouting.I don’t ride at the moment but i used to ride,and i did ride english!in western do you have your legs straight down?i got told off once becuase my legs wern’t bent,i was told the horse could buck easier,but i was never bucked off,i never even fell off!although i nearly did,after a jump the horse went into canter,before i knew how to canter!have you ever fallen off?

  51. I got bucked off good and proper once. I was riding bareback, and someone shot off a firecracker, and Patches II tossed me. She was as scared as I was, I think.

    In western riding, your legs are bent a bit, yes, but not so much as in English riding. The thing is that the saddle is SO much heavier (see, there’s the capitalization thing) so I believe the feeling is quite different.

    I’ll bet horses prefer the English saddle!

  52. No! It doesn’t make you look old!
    Sometimes , us younger ones get a little lazy:-)
    {Thanks for answering my questions!}

  53. Hi Toby. Here’s a question about something most creative people struggle with — how do you decide when something you’ve written is “done”?

  54. ponyprincess, you’re very welcome. And actually, I do notice that you use capitals for your e-mails, just not your name! My young adult editor at Viking doesn’t use capitals at ALL.

    Hi, LeadMare:

    Sometimes it’s hard to know when a piece is finished. Sometimes you have that perfect ending line, and you spend all the time building up to it, but others–as with something I wrote this morning–are tricky to bring to a conclusion. One of the reasons I like deadlines is that they make me send the stuff off, and quit tweaking it. I would never be done rewriting, otherwise.

  55. Ms. Bishop,
    I hope you don’t mind me asking you a lot of questions! How do you get ideas for your writing? Do keep track of your ideas in a notebook? Do you just keep everything in your head? Thanks!

  56. Dear ponyprincess:

    I’m happy to answer your questions! Ideas for writing come from everywhere, even from chats like this one. And every writer I know, including myself, always has a little notebook in her pocket or purse or briefcase, because if you do get lucky enough to have a great idea, you don’t want to forget it later. A lot of times ideas come when you’re doing something physical–taking a shower, folding laundry, vacuuming, something that keeps your hands busy but your mind free. And my mind is working even while I’m doing other things, so if I spent time writing early in the morning, for example, my subconscious keeps working on the piece throughout the day.

    What kinds of things do you write?

  57. Ms. Bishop,
    Yeah, in fact my story “The Golden Egg” is an English writing assignment. I like to write stories and some poems.

  58. That’s a lovely story. I’m so glad your teacher encourages you to write fiction and exercise those creative muscles! Good for you.

  59. Thanks!

  60. I can’t wait to read it. I am sure I will read it more than once! Of course who doesn’t?

  61. Hi, Madelaina:

    I hope you will! I’d love to hear what you think.

  62. Do you own a horse or have any horses near you?(i’m not sure if you’ve already been asked this question,if you have sorry)There’s 2 horses near me,1 just stands there looking at a old stone shed,the other usally comes to see me,he’s beautiful.I don’t have a horse of my own :/.

  63. I don’t own a horse at the moment, but I live near the most beautiful horse ranch. I think it must be full of very expensive horses (and very well-cared-for). Piper and I walk near there, and see quarter horses, what looks to me like a thoroughbred, sometimes even ponies. Have you asked your neighbor if you can help with the horses, maybe clean stalls or something? I know one girl who offers her time in exchange for riding lessons at a stable near me. Of course, you need your parents’ permission for any activity like that.

    I just got back from visiting my sister’s ranch (Second Wind Ranch) and seeing her old blind fellow, Jim. The younger gelding (well, he’s twenty, so not that young) is named Mocha. My sister tells me that when Mocha and Flame, her third horse, graze on a hill near the stables, sometimes Jim doesn’t know where they are. She’ll hear him whinny (horses get very lonely) and she’ll go out of the house to see that Mocha comes back down the hill to guide Jim up to the grass. Isn’t that the most wonderful story?

    I hope everyone begins to learn that horses and dogs (and other animals, too) have feelings and needs not unlike those of human beings.

  64. I know what you mean,many many people have said that some people think horses are like cars,jump in and go as fast as you like as long as you like.I don’t actully know the owners of this horse,although i’m a bit naughty and give him grass and groom him(or her).They’re very mysteryish horses the one i’ve been talking about(the one who always comes)has a stable but it’s falling apart and inside theres a grooming kit and an empty grooming box and 2 feed bins I think 1’s full but can’t see very well and 1 has a feed scoop in it,but no food.Theres a riding hat and riding gloves too.and i made another discovery today,as a fence on 1 small part theres jumping wings(at least i think that’s what there’re called)He’s been taught some manners too.The other one just stands there.They’re both quite thin though.

  65. I wonder what LeadMare thinks of this? If horses are being neglected or abused, your parents could call the Humane Society. Animal cruelty is against the law. We’ve had several cases here in Washington State where people who had neglected their horses to the point of starvation received criminal charges–and quite rightly! Horses are not aggressive, and they won’t jump a fence or trample it down in order to get food or water.

  66. Well my first thought was that this sounds like inspiration for a mystery story. animalsrkool, you have good observation and investigation skills!

    If I lived near horses that appear neglected, I’d start by introducing myself to the owners and asking questions. If they’re good people who are trying to do the right thing, but are having trouble (usually that means lack of knowledge, time and/or money) I’d try to help without making them feel bad. If they’re people who just don’t care about their horses, I’d contact organizations with resources to help and enforce laws protecting animals.

    And if I was still living with my parents, I’d talk to them before doing any of the above. :)

  67. I don’t think they’re being abused,one had a rug on in the winter(it’s off now it’s summer) they both have water and one had extra hay in the winter too.They both have about a acre of land for grazing too.I’ll think about what you’ve said tho,I’d like to help out.

  68. That doesn’t sound so bad! If they have decent grass, they should be all right. Maybe they’re just naturally thin horses. It’s nice you have horses to visit, and that you care about them. And they would make great story ideas!

  69. Yes now i come to think of it ,it does sound a bit like a story! some times i don’t really want to write tho,do you ever feel like that?Oh and i just thought i’d tell you,i’m going to ask about those horses at the post office,every-one talks to them!

  70. Oh i forgot,your sisters ranch sounds amazing!I like the name,and the horse leading the blind one sounds like a Real act of kindness.

  71. Of course I sometimes don’t feel like writing, but as I’m a professional (meaning, I make my living that way) I do it anyway. And the great thing is that once I get myself started, I DO feel like writing! It’s what discipline is all about, whether it’s going out to walk your dog, exercise your horse, do your yoga, or write your story!

  72. I wish I had a horse to visit!
    I have to content myself with drawing, dreaming, and writing. Then, of course I seize the chance to go to a horse show each time a chance comes:)

  73. I just thought you’d like to know,i’ve found out who owns the horse AND where she lives! best of all tho mum said she’d go there with me some when,isn’t that fantastic??(all other horsey lovers! why is it just me ,toby and leadmare talking? say something please!)

  74. ponyprincess, drawing, dreaming, and writing are all wonderful things. I’m so glad you’re able to do them, and perhaps there are horses in your future!

    And animalsrkool, I think that’s wonderful. Your mother must be a very supportive parent, and that means you’re a lucky girl. Say hello to her for me (I’m a mom, too.)

  75. Mum says hello back:). Have you written any more books for kids?

  76. :-) That’s a nice greeting to start my morning!

    The only books I’ve written for younger readers (we call them YA, for young adults) are AIRS BENEATH THE MOON and SINGER IN THE SNOW, which is under the name Louise Marley. My first trilogy, also under the name Louise Marley, was widely read by young adults, but is hard to find now. Some younger readers also enjoyed THE GLASS HARMONICA, which has a young musician as a protagonist. And more books are coming in the The Horsemistress Saga! I’m having so much fun living in the world of Oc.

    If you are interested in science fiction and fantasy for young people, you could visit and click on “Young Adult Readers and Writers” for some suggestions. Do read Sharon Shinn, for starters! Her books are wonderful, and she’s a dear friend of mine.

  77. Speaking of wonderful books and nice people, has anyone read Airs Beneath the Moon yet? I’m itchy to talk about it and hear what others think!

    We have two autographed copies to give away, generously donated by Toby. :)

  78. How do i get one of these autographed books???? this sounds good.

  79. Hi Animalsrkool: One way is to have something published in the blog. Click here for info about how to submit a blog.

  80. Thanks LeadMare.(stupid question) do i have to submit a blog?

  81. Animalsrkool, there’s no such thing as a stupid question around here. :) You don’t have to submit a blog if you don’t want to, that’s just one way to earn items from our give-away gift pile.

    Toby, do you have any thoughts about a contest or something for those who want an autographed copy of your book?

  82. I think I’d quite like to submit a blog,not completly sure tho.I don’t really understand about the give-away gift pile,i’m like that,i like to fully understand things and know what i’m doing.Oh,and with the blog,could you write about any-thing horsey?like breeds of horse,a horsey game and books?

  83. The gift pile is stuff we will give away for contests and rewards. We haven’t figured out exactly how yet, so I understand if it’s confusing. :s

    A blog about horse breeds, a horse game or a horse book are all good ideas. But let’s wait to see what Toby thinks when she has a chance to check in.

    In the meantime, enjoy the weekend. I’m doing some computer work right now, but soon will be turning it off and heading outside for some FUN!

  84. Ms. Bishop,
    I looked for your book at the library and I couldn’t find it! Next time I will check for one of your Louise Marley books.
    (I will keep hoping that there are horses in my future!)

    Sorry Animalsrkool,
    I haven’t been online for awhile:-)

  85. Aww I don’t mind ponyprincess,I’m not exactly sure what ur talking about but i think it’s the every-one else talk not just me thing! have you written any stories on G.H.C ? Toby where did you get the idea for winged horses from?

  86. For the book giveaway, how about book reports? There are so many great classic horse books: NATIONAL VELVET, BLACK BEAUTY, SMOKY . . . it might be a fun challenge.

    ponyprincess, did you ask a librarian to help you? They can get books in that they don’t have on their shelves. There’s a form to fill out, or you can just chat with them and tell them the title you’re interested in.

    And, Animalsrkool, the winged horses idea came from my editor, because she and I are both horse lovers!

  87. Ms. Bishop,
    Thanks, I will try and ask a librarian! The book report idea sounds great! Did you have any animals besides horses when you were a girl?

    Yes, I have written stories and a poem for G.H.C. The stories are called “The Golden Egg” and “Rocky Trails.” My poem is called
    “Wild Stallion.” What have you written?

  88. Hi, ponyprincess. I’ve always had dogs. In fact, my very earliest memory is my third birthday, when my parents gave me a crossbred puppy I named Louie. I loved that dog! We all did. He babysat us, followed us around in the barnyard and kept us out of trouble. I could never have a cat, because I’m allergic to the poor things, but my dogs have been, in order: Louie, Captain, Robbie, Topo, Baggins, Hunter, and now my much-loved Piper. That’s a lot, isn’t it? One or two weren’t able to live out their lifespan, but Baggins and Hunter–a Scottie and a collie–I had for thirteen years each.

  89. ponyprincess,I’ve written Under The oak,which is about a girly-girl realising theres more important things to life than being clean,and that girls and boys can be friends with out going out(blegh!)and A Hippy,which i gave up on,lol it ends really quickly.Under the Oak has gone on a bit too long for my liking,i don’t seem to be able to write big chapters. I’ll have a look at your stories.

  90. Ms. Bishop,
    Dogs are my second favorite animal.Horses are my favorite of course!
    I used to have a collie and a hamster and the whole family used to have a handsome German Shephard/Chow. We only have a cat, so don’t come to our house;)
    (You have had lots of dogs!)

  91. ponyprincess, you’re right. I’ve had lots of dogs. It just doesn’t seem like home without one. I love training and playing with them. We’ve tried to add up how many words Piper knows, and I think it’s about fifty! (He has me pretty well trained, too, I’m afraid.)

  92. Ms.Bishop,
    Where did you get your dog,Piper?
    I like his name!

    I read your stories. I like “Under The Oak.”
    “A Hippy” is not so bad either!

  93. Heads-Up: The Toby Bishop Interactive View will close at the end of April. If you have any burning questions now’s the time to ask!

  94. Thanks ponyprincess,i really liked your poem.Toby,please give Piper a pat for me,i love dogs.

  95. Animalsrkool,

    I requested your book at the library.
    It will be coming soon. I wanted to say thanks for answering all our questions;-)

  96. ponyprincess, I found Piper at a breeder in Idaho. I wanted a Scottie, and searched the internet till I turned up a litter, and then I drove 500 miles to pick him up! I like his name, too, because he’s a Scottish terrier, and I like the bagpipes!

    I’m so glad the library was helpful to you. Piper says thanks for the pat. And it was a joy chatting with you.

    To all of you girls at GirlsHorseClub, please e-mail me if you have questions about writing, or about my books, or really anything. I’m available at and I love talking with readers.

    Keep writing!

  97. Thank you Toby! It’s been a pleasure to learn more about you. Many thanks for sharing your advice and insight.

    Your fan, LeadMare :)