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Visiting the Horses

I’ve been busy scribbling away, writing the last chapters of Traveling Light, when I knew it couldn’t wait any longer. I had to visit the horses!

I drove up to Montrose, NY on a drizzly Tuesday to visit my friend Will, his wife Beth, and their menagerie of chickens, horses, dogs, birds and soon goats. When I turned off the highway I passed rolling hills covered in apple orchards, the stunted trees like coral in a desiccated ocean sky. Now, two weeks later, I’m sure the trees are bursting in bloom.

I pulled into the driveway of Will and Beth’s charming farmhouse to find Will deshedding his quarter horse with long strokes of a metal curry comb, flaxen tufts of Merlin’s winter coat lifting in the breeze like milkweed pods. Over the next couple hours Merlin and I became acquainted as he looked at me with his wise, gentle eyes and let me bury my fingers in his mane. I pressed my nose to his side and breathed in the smell of hay and wind and soil. Merlin, apparently, likes to roll around in the dirt. When I held out my hand, he delicately plucked radishes from my palm, the satisfied crunch of his chewing reverberating from deep in his skull. Horses, Will told me, have two sets of teeth. Out in the pasture, I learned about a horse’s different gaits, and how a sound they can’t see, like dried leaves rattling over the grass, can spook them. It was a wonderful visit, and I was grateful to Will and Beth for their generosity.

Best of all, when I got home from my adventure June was ready for her big riding scene! She returned to discover…Whoops. No spoilers;-)

Now, back to the garret…

Greer Hendricks Interview for Columbia Fiction Foundry

On April 6, at the Columbia Alumni Center in New York City, I had the pleasure of interviewing Greer Hendricks, co-author, with Sarah Pekkanen, of THE WIFE BETWEEN US, which spent 26 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List, and AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, which debuted at #1 on the NYT list and remained in the top five for over two months.

The novels are slick and suspenseful psychological thrillers, and it was fascinating to talk with Greer about her unique writing process. Unlike most writing duos, who take on alternating chapters or different characters, Greer and Sarah craft every line together on Google Docs or Hangout. They visit each other’s cities to plot, camping out in a hotel room with giant Post-It notes on the wall. How cool to have a magical soul-sister writing partner!

Greer was down-to-earth and fun to interview as she shared her story as well as inside tips on the publishing business, optioning a novel for film and TV, and the importance of sitting down and doing the work.

You can watch the full YouTube interview here.