Carly Kade, Equestrian Author answers some questions about her writing. Stay tuned on Equus Education for a review of In the Reins!
How much of your day/week is related to horses?
When I am not riding a horse, you’ll find me writing about one. Horses are very much a part of my every day. I am happiest when I am in the saddle. I’ve been lucky enough to own horses most of my life.
My adult horse’s name is Sissy. She is the one I always dreamed of owning. She is a registered Paint mare and I am happily showing her regularly in Arizona. Take a tour of my website and you’ll notice Sissy appears in my promotional videos for In The Reins as the lead horse character, Faith. I do all the marketing for the book myself so it helps to have my own horse to stand in as I film the footage!
Horses give me peace whether I’m putting them on paper or I am a guest on their backs. There is nothing more peaceful to me than the quiet bond I share with my horse. I am lucky to have horses in my life every day in some way!
What is it exactly that you do?
I am an equestrian author. Beverly Cleary once said, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.” I think I’ve read everything in existence about horses, cowboys and romance. I couldn’t find a horse book series written about the western pleasure discipline though. I wrote In The Reins because I wanted to read a love story themed around the type of breed horse shows that I like to compete in (AQHA, APHA, PtHA) especially the western pleasure classes.
It is a very exciting time. In the Reins is my first book in a series of at least three. I am proud to share that it has been an equestrian best seller on Amazon for more than 10 weeks and has just been named an official 2016 EQUUS Film Festival literary selection. The EQUUS Film Festival is the world’s premier showcase for domestic and International equestrian content feature films, shorts, documentaries, music videos, commercials, training, educational materials, art & literature. Category winners will be revealed this November in New York City. I look forward to attending and signing books for festival attendees!
In a nutshell, I love writing horse books for people just like me … horse crazy, book crazy, cowboy crazy. Creative writing makes my spurs jingle!
In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Not yet! I hope one day that I might make enough income from my writing for it to be my full time profession. I dream BIG! Right now, I work full time in the corporate world. The beautiful thing is that I still have time to write! I have to make the time but it is possible to do both. The truth is most authors make less than $10,000 a year which is why reader reviews are so important to us. Reviews are the easiest way to thank an author and let their publishers know to produce more of their books. Being an author is a small business.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
In order to be an author, I was surprised to learn that I legally had to start my own business! So now I am a self-published author and small business owner. I publish books under Carly Kade Creative. I knew that I wanted creative control of In The Reins. My background in marketing, events, social media, brand and public relations gave me a foundation for doing the launch of the book myself. I read like crazy too and devoured tons of books on self-publishing.
Beyond establishing a business, a writer needs to actually write! Inspiration strikes in the most interesting ways. Sometimes it’s through cultivating a writing habit (like my 5 am morning writing sessions) and sometimes inspiration comes like lightning. When I experience the latter, I have to catch it as fast as I can so I always (always!) carry a journal with me wherever I go.
Carly Kade’s favourite horse memory?
Everything changed on my 10th birthday when I opened a brightly colored package containing a purple halter and matching lead. I didn’t have a horse of my own to put the halter on, but I loved it anyway because it was purple (my favorite color) and because it was an item for a real horse, not a plastic one.
Unbelievably, that halter turned into a birthday road trip that brought me to Missy. Missy ended up being my real birthday present. She was my first horse and the best life coach a young woman could ever ask for. Missy was my mount, my teacher, my partner, and my very best friend through my childhood years. On Missy, I was crowned my county’s 4-H Horse Queen and we won the coveted Palomino Western Pleasure class at the World’s Largest All Breed Youth Show. Missy lived to be 28 years old.
To this day, I still can’t believe my parents were willing to give such a generous gift when I was just a little girl. It wasn’t always easy to afford her, but we somehow found a way. They knew that I loved horses and it wasn’t just a phase. It was forever. I am still a horse owner almost 30 years later!
Ironically, I didn’t give either of my horses their barn names (Missy or Sissy.) I like to think there’s something about the similarity that implies these two horses were meant just for me 😉
Carly Kade’s future goals?
This is just the beginning! I have more books featuring the characters from In The Reins bucking up a storm in my mind and already taking shape on paper! McKennon and Devon’s story definitely continues. I am working on the sequel now. This is a horse book series of at least three!
I will be sharing sneak peeks, updates and new release info on my blog for readers who can’t wait to find out what happens next for McKennon and Devon. I am excited about the journey this series is taking me on! I see a children’s book series in my future too.
Best thing about your sport/profession??
The best thing about being an author has been the people I’ve partnered with and met on my journey to publishing In The Reins. There has been a very real magic coursing through all the people that have come together around this project. Friends, family, acquaintances, perfect strangers, colleagues – everyone was so kind when I shared my dream of being a published author with them.
All these lovely humans then proceeded to open doors that I couldn’t even see were there. Now the dream has come true and I am one!
I am overflowing with gratitude for all the passionate people who have come on this journey with me from book reviewers to fellow equestrian authors to other entrepreneurs I’ve met along the way. When dreamers band together and support each other anything is possible. You can’t do it on your own.