I’m currently writing a section of my new book set at an outback race meeting, and a thought occurred to me… every book I’ve written has horses in it somewhere. I decided that couldn’t be right, but when I stopped long enough to think about it….
Matt – the hero of The Farmer needs A Wife owns a horse stud.
In The Bachelor and Spinster Ball, our hero Nick is a stockman, which is the Australian version of a cowboy.
Girl racers, I thought, is a book about a car race… but our heroine Alex grew up on a cattle property where her childhood sweetheart helped her train a thoroughbred colt.
Not only does my newest book have a few scenes set at an outback race meeting – the next one is going to involve a plan to rescue a herd of wild horses.
I begin to see a pattern. Even looking back at my first attempts to write (unpublished and for good reason), there do seem to be horses involved in them all… even if it’s as simple as our hero riding one in a military parade.
Just before Christmas I was in Kentucky, and drove to Lexington to visit – you guessed it – Kentucky Horse Park. It’s a fabulous place, dedicated to all things equine. I made some new four footed friends … and had a lovely day walking across the famous Kentucky Bluegrass fields.
This beautiful horse country is very different from the rough and tumble outback where I learned to ride, but some things are the same.
As a teenager, the boys I fell in love with (and there were quite a few) were the ones who could ride faster and harder than I could. They could jump higher fences and ride bigger horses.
As I got older, the men who wanted to catch my eye had to be able to heft a heavier bale of hay or wrestle a bigger steer.
Young love never leaves us – so I’m just going to keep on writing heroes who are strong and competent and tanned by the sun.
After all, what’s not to like about that….