Monday, May 13, 2013

Rode To Death

 I got the idea for my first mystery novel, RODE TO DEATH, working as an equine journalist. At the time, I was also competing with my quarter horse mare at the National level, and I found the world of showing and breeding world-class horses not only fascinating, but overflowing with colorful characters as well.

    As I dug deeper into the lives of the subjects I interviewed for magazines, along with the ones I traveled and hung out with on a daily basis, I found myself starting down the path of “what if?” For instance, what if the archetypical kind, handsome cowboy turned out to have a fair amount of evil in him? What if, beneath the glitz and glitter of the horse show world, all is not as it seems? After that, the ball started rolling and there was no turning back.

   I was able to do some fascinating research for this book. In addition to the invaluable information on the world of Quarter Horse breeding I gleaned from Sandy Arledge of Sandy Arledge Quarter Horses in Del Mar, CA, I got to witness an artificial insemination collection at her breeding facility. THAT was something. I also was lucky enough to tour a beautiful and state-of-the-art facility in Bonsall, CA, Vessel’s Stallion Farm, and had the opportunity to interview Kevin Dickson, the man in charge of Vessel’s breeding operations.

    In addition, I had access to the wonderful owner of the Chino Hills Equine Hospital, Dr. Michael Steppe, and his kind staff. His number one vet tech, Tina Murray, put up with my relentless questions and e-mails and always responded in a timely and informative manner.

    That was the fun part. The writing was harder than I ever imagined, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my wonderful writers group co-members, Judy Bernstein and Diane Wilson. Both successful authors, awesome editors, and great friends, to boot.