Spanish Gold - Hoofbeats Across My Heart (Author Interview)

Spanish Gold looks like a great biography. Any future plans for it to be available for Kindle?

Not right now. It is a beautiful book with photographs inside and it makes a perfect gift for any occasion, whatever the age. This is a book to keep on the shelf amongst your classics, like Black Beauty, and the way it is being received right now makes this the perfect novel to retain as a future heirloom or asset. Can you imagine if you had a first edition Dickens on your shelf right now? That is what I want my book to be – a household name that a mother can read today, and then gift her son or daughter when they are old enough, because she loved it so much. You can't do that with a Kindle book.

One other reason why I won't publish to Kindle right now is due to piracy. It takes one leaked file to reach the internet, and then everybody has my book, which I worked hard on, and they haven't paid a penny for it, nor given me any credit for the work. Although my work is copyrighted, I know I won't be able to keep the book secure online.

What do you think makes a great biography?

Well for me it has to really connect with the reader – pull at the heart strings, or make the reader laugh out loud or send goosebumps down the spine; maybe all at once. It has to be memorable, because this is what a Biography is – memories, and it has to be multifaceted or the reader will get bored and nobody wants to fall asleep a few pages into a book. Writing has to capture the imagination, and stir emotion. It has to be interesting so that when the reader finishes the novel they feel a kind of disappointment that they have reached the final page – they want more.

What inspired you when writing Spanish Gold?

The short answer is – my friends. I am always posting photos of Cantinero - the horse that my book is about - or talking about the amazing times we had. One day my friend Vanessa said to me, “why don't you write his story? It would make a great book.” I laughed at her words at first, and then more and more people started asking me, and I began to listen and take them seriously. So I did it! I started by sharing the first chapter to test the water, and the reception over this chapter was just amazing. People were messaging me and phoning me to ask where they could buy my book, and I hadn't even finished it yet! One lady was in tears and desperate to get her hands on the book, so she could read about what happened to Cantinero. She messaged me every week for months to ask if it was complete yet.

When I began Cantinero's memoirs I didn't think I was capable of writing a whole book. I was thinking of just publishing some short stories on Facebook, but the words flowed and flowed out of me until there it was – complete memoirs. I remember the most amazing feeling within me of achievement when I had typed the final word.

Of course, my biggest inspiration was Cantinero – my Spanish stallion. He was my greatest muse as well as my best friend, and all through writing the book, it was his voice narrating. In fact, I didn't really write the book at all, he did (which sounds mad, I know! But it is the truth). We had such a fabulous connection together, for which I am so grateful, and the strange thing is that I don't see him as having passed on, his presence by my side feels stronger than ever.

Spanish Gold – Hoofbeats Across My Heart was written for a greater purpose, to teach people the same messages that Anna Sewell tried to teach in her classic novel 'Black Beauty'. I wanted people to realise that times haven't really moved on all that much since 1877 when 'Beauty' was released, and horses are still the underdog, still abusedand subjected to cruelty and neglect through human ignorance. So, thank you Anna Sewell for also being the pinnacle of inspiration to me. I want to pick up the reins from where you left off, and reinforce all of your messages. My intention is to be a voice for all animals, just like you.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Full time? Part time?

I don't really have ambition or a need to make writing a career. If the story is there and comes easily, then I will write, I won't force it. Spanish Gold was a story that was bursting within me to be let out, and any other works that I may write will be the same. My full-time job at the moment is equine therapy. I fix horses, and that is where my passion lies.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I'm quite a bashful and quiet person, so I still don't see myself as an author. I still can't quite get my head around that I wrote a book. I don't think I ever decided to be a writer, it just happened. I had a story, I had a purpose, I had an audience, so I wrote. The words flowed onto the pages and it felt right. It was a very strange moment to hold the very first hardback copy of my book, and it wasn't until then, with this physical manifestation of my thoughts actually held in my hands, that it became reality to me. A shiver trickled down my spine and I thought, “wow, I wrote this”. It was an amazing moment, probably one of the best moments of my life.

When writing Spanish Gold did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

The most challenging part about writing this book was to write it from Cantinero's perspective. I had to draw on every inch of knowledge accumulated over roughly 30 years of being around horses. As a therapist for horses, this helped, as I have taken a course in equine psychology and herd behaviour. But still, I had to explain things from Cantinero's point of view to an audience that may not all be that experienced with horses. I wanted my book to be family friendly and appeal to animal lovers or people from all walks of life, not just 'horsey' people. How would I explain a horse understanding human speech, for example, or describing a horse's role with a rider, from their perspective? This was why I came up with 'The Noble Gift', and to know more about this, you'll have to read my book.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I'll give you a clue. It has something to do with a four-legged, hooved animal, with a flowing mane and tail, and a saddle and bridle. Yes, you probably guessed that I love to ride. And there is no greater feeling than galloping along a beautiful beach on a Spanish horse with the wind whipping at your body and the sound of hoofbeats drumming a tattoo at your soul. Have you ever ridden a Spanish horse? Well, they are very unique. They aren't like riding a Thoroughbred, for instance, which relies on speed and are built like Greyhounds – very flexible through the spine. The Spanish horse runs like a Mary Poppin's Carousel horse, gaining altitude with speed so that you 'boing' rather than gallop and when they gallop, thunder fills the depressions their hooves make in the sand. It makes one feel so incredibly secure and in control, if like me, you aren't a speed freak but want to feel like a character out of Poldark.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

I am always available to answer questions or have a chat. Horses are my passion as well as my work. I'm currently working on a website but you can find me on Facebook here ;

Simone Louise @spanishgoldbook
(follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I often post book discounts and giveaways or competitions)

or Email me at ;

And of course I have author spotlights at Lulu and Amazon;

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