Welcome to Hope! I found her latest book absolutely fascinating, the social history had me riveted, until the end!
Tell me about your life? Where do you live? Do you have a family or pets?
I grew up on a dairy farm in rural Southeast Tennessee, USA. We milked 125 head of Holstein cattle and raised crops such as alfalfa, corn, and soybeans on two farms totalling 600 acres. I love all animals but was born with a passion for horses. I got the first horse that I actually owned when I was 12 years old. She was a 13.2hh Spotted Saddle Horse (pony) that I rode English and western. While over the years I rode a variety of pony and horse-sized equines, my actual first horse-sized partner of my own was an Arabian gelding named Faax El Din. I won him as a prize in an essay contest when I was 16 years old. I have been devoted to the Arabian breed ever since. I attended college at Middle Tennessee State University where I was on the horse judging and equestrian teams while working toward my bachelor of science degree in horse science. I attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville earning a master of science degree in agricultural education. I hold teaching credentials in agricultural education and business education. I am married and have a 17-year-old daughter who is a senior in high school. Writing is my side job that I do on a part-time basis. I’m a full-time career and technology education teacher, instructing classes in business education at a local high school. Presently, I live near a small town about forty-five minutes away from where I grew up. My family and I reside in a remodelled 1927 farmhouse that was originally built by my husband’s grandparents. My husband and his family own the farm on which we live. It is a Tennessee Century Farm meaning that it has been in continuous agricultural operation by the same family for over 100 years. Our farm has met that criteria for 195 years! On our farm, we raise hay and black Angus cattle. My half-Arabian mare, Sally, lives on the farm with us along with her pet donkey, Harmony. We also have two Border Collie farm dogs, Gus and Daisy, and a house cat, Rose.
Why did I begin writing?
I’ve had a love for writing for as long as I can remember. In school, I often wrote short stories just for fun. Prior to my teaching career, I worked for the extension service which allowed me to write newspaper articles, newsletters, and some educational material. In 2015, on a whim, I wrote a true, short story about a horse show experience and submitted it to EQUUS magazine for consideration. It was picked up and it really all began then. Since then I’ve written everything from true stories to more technical pieces relying on my expertise in the horse industry which dates back over thirty years. My articles have covered everything from trailer tyres to pasture management, and everything in between. My client list is one I am proud of and includes: EQUUS, Horse Illustrated, the American Quarter Horse Journal, Arabian Horse Life, Sidelines, US Equestrian, and Hoof Beats magazines. I have also written for TheHorse.com blog.
Tell me about your latest book:
In March of this year, I released my second book, “Always Hope: How dairy cows and Arabian horses inspired grit in a young girl’s life.” It’s my coming of age story about growing up on a dairy farm and my amazing first Arabian horse. It’s both sad and humorous and paints a true picture of farm life. It’s available on Amazon.
What are your future plans for writing?
With my current one just out, I haven’t thought much yet about another book. Certainly, I plan to continue writing for my clients.
What is your all-time favourite book?
I have always loved Gone with the Wind. Not only is it my favourite book, but it’s also my favourite movie! The main character, Scarlett O’Hara, is such a strong female personality. I admire her strength and resilience.