Hello! If you’ve been following my last few Facebook posts you’ve seen that I’m doing some short posts about my inspirations for some of the things in my books. So far I’ve talked about the Stupid Hat Club, Stupid Geoffrey, and college. (Check out my Facebook page for those posts!)
I’m going to start delving a little more in some blog posts, and telling more stories about the experiences behind my books. I hope you enjoy and keep checking back for new “inspirations”!
My Inspiration for Wind Dance Farms
Wind Dance Farms is the setting for Peace River. I was inspired by experiences from my childhood. My dad raised really high end Quarterhorse race horses. They were almost exclusively bred to run, but surprisingly, some of his horses did extraordinarily well in the show ring as well, (which doesn’t usually happen). Anyway, every January, Dad would make the annual trips to take broodmares to the stud farms and all of us kids got to take turns going on the road trips, usually to Texas and Oklahoma because at that time, a lot of the world champion stallions were down there.
I remember going to the most amazing horse farms that were absolutely luxurious. These were the farms that had exercise pools in the barns for the horses and wet bars in the office areas that were plastered with trophies and win pictures, (yes, including the big, silly hats). Honestly, one of those farms had shavings in the stalls that had little pieces of colored tinsel mixed in. That troubled me, actually. My dad was a veterinarian and I knew even then how fragile horses’ gastrointestinal tracts are. I worried about those horses getting sick from the tinsel. (Yes, Toby Keith and Willey Nelson’s song about beer for my horses makes me just a touch uncomfortable for the same reason. Beer can’t be good for the world’s most finicky tummied species.)
Anyway, the horse farms were incredible and they often had large oval paddocks just near the office where they would showcase the farm’s fanciest horses. There truly isn’t anything on earth more glorious than a sleek, shiny, spirited race horse. They are definitely addictive.
At one of those farms, the owner actually let me sit on one of the stallions. It was a stallion my father had bred a number of mares to and he was pretty special to me. His name was Boston Mac, a huge black stallion who was worth a mint, and I thought I was so thoroughly cool. I’ll never forget it sitting high on that magnificent horse!