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An interview with author and equestrian J.A. Campbell
An archived interview as seen in the
March 2016 issue of Florida Equine Athlete
by Gina McKnight
I joke that I got a horse so I could justify buying a truck,
I’d probably have a horse even if I didn’t have a truck.” J.A. Campbell
Julie A. Campbell has been many things
over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over
the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech
support, but through it all she’s been a writer, and when she’s not out riding
horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in
Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog, Kira, her Arabian mare,
Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and
Ghost-Hunting Dog stories, the young adult fantasy series, Tales of the Travelers, and the young adult urban fantasy series The Clanless. She is also the editor of Steampunk Trails, an old west steampunk
fiction magazine and a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog
Writers of America Association.
GM: You have written many great books –
from Steampunk to vampires – of all of the books you have written, which is
JAC: That’s a really tough question to
answer because I have a couple I really adore. I think Sabaska’s Tale and Doc
are my two most favorite. Sabaska’s Tale
is both my first novel published, and one of the stories closest to my heart. I
came up with the story idea when I was out trail riding in the beautiful Rocky
Mountains with my first horse, Sabaska—Name should be familiar. I unashamedly
named the main equine character in the book after Sabaska, my inspiration. I
also love the idea of being able to teleport to other worlds on horseback.
Doc is my other
favorite. The novel isn’t published yet, but there are short stories with this
character and another series of weird westerns inspired by this character. Doc
is a border collie who hunts vampires and other creatures with his human,
Kevin. Writing an entire novel from a dog’s point of view is challenging, but
quite fun and rewarding and I love how the novel came out and I love border
collies and writing about animals in fun and different ways.
GM: To add to that, with so many
characters on paper, which character of your own creation do you feel most
JAC: Probably Sabaska. I based the
fictional character off of the real horse and she was my heart horse. I lost
her three and a half years ago and I’m glad she lives on in fiction.
J.A. and Sabaska
GM: You’ve an Arabian mare, Triska.
Tell us about your horse history, your adventures with Triska, and if horses
play a role in your writing…
JAC: Well, I think I’ve already
answered part of this above but I’ll go into it all now. It’s a lifelong story
so I’ll try and keep it somewhat brief. I don’t actually remember the first
time I was on a horse. My parents didn’t have horses, but they let me do pony
rides, trail rides and when I was old enough lessons. I went to college and got
a BS in Equine Science and also got Sabaska, my first horse. She was an Arabian
mare and I trained her myself. She taught me so much and we had so many
adventures. We even did endurance racing. After she died my significant other’s
folks helped me adopt Triska, a half-trained Arabian horse in Quarter Horse
country. She’d been in the rescue for a while just waiting for someone like me
to come along. I’ve had her for about three years now and we do lots of trail
riding together. She’s wonderful as well and I’m glad to have her.
They do influence my writing. As do my
dogs (border collies). They inspire my stories and help revitalize my
creativity. Triska shows up in my second Travelers
book and she’ll have a bigger part as the series progresses.
GM: Where do you like to ride?
JAC: I’m so spoiled. My favorite place
to ride is in the mountains, which are only about an hour to two-hour trailer
ride from where I live. I’ll ride on the grasslands nearby as well as some of
the cow fields near my home.
GM: Do you attend horse events, seminars,
JAC: Occasionally. If the opportunity
presents I do. However, I’ve been doing a lot of sheep herding with my dogs
recently so my seminars and activities have been focused on that. I used to
attend endurance races with Sabaska and the occasional local show.
GM: Describe your writing studio…
JAC: I have a corner desk that I have
stuffed with, well, stuff. Papers relevant to writing, some decorations, like
cool rocks, and an old 1940’s typewriter that does work when the ribbon isn’t
dried out. I use a laptop but I also have an external monitor which is useful
when I’m working in more than one document or have a chat screen up. I have a
cowriter for some of my other projects so chatting while I’m working is often
GM: Do you have a writing schedule, or
are you a sporadic writer, writing all hours?
JAC: I write whenever I can. I still
have a day job and I spend a lot of time with my animals, so I’ll write or edit
whenever I can fit it in, but I do write almost every day. I usually take
Monday’s and sometimes Tuesday’s off from writing just like I have a couple of
days off from my day job. On day’s I’m not working the day job, my writing
schedule is usually afternoon and evenings and I exercise the animals and clean
up after them in the mornings.
GM: What are you currently reading?
JAC: Right now I’m reading Jim
Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. I
just finished Brandon Sanderson’s The
Words of Radiance.
GM: What are you currently writing?
JAC: Right now I’m working on the third
Legends of the Travelers book. It should be called Saga’s War, but that’s not
set in stone yet. The first one, Saga, is already out and the second book,
Jarl, will be out in June. I’m also working on edits for that with my
publisher. The Saga books are a trilogy
that are set up as a prequel to the Sabaska
(Tales of the Travelers) series. It’s
an epic fantasy setting up the big conflict that is dealt with in the Sabaska books.
GM: Who is your favorite author?
JAC: Kristen Britain who writes the Green Rider books. I love her writing
and her world. She helped inspire me to go ahead and write horse-based fantasy
even though there weren’t many out there.
GM: Do you have advice for novice
JAC: Write what you love, then find a
way to get it out to the world. Also…edit, edit, edit.
GM: List 10 things that your fans may
not know about you…
JAC: Oh, gosh…if you follow my facebook
you know the most important things. My dogs, my horse. Let’s see. I love
chocolate wine. I also love Irish whiskey. Bran, my puppy, is named after Fin
McCool’s legendary dog, Bran. Kira, my older dog is named after an explorer
named Kira. Sabaska decided we needed to do endurance racing and Kira decided
we needed to herd sheep—she’s a border collie. Sometimes I joke that I got a horse
so I could justify buying a truck, but I’d probably have a horse even if I
didn’t have a truck. I love big trucks. Hauling hay with my truck makes me
really happy, but hauling my horse is even better. I grew up learning to water
ski in the Mississippi river and I miss that, but not enough to move out of
Colorado because I love the mountains more.
Day Royal Prince Christof travels to Kentucky to woo the heart of a Texan woman
with the best racehorse!
just wants to raise horses. She also just happens to have a very rich uncle
that loves her. As a surprise gift he leaves her a thoroughbred horse with one
of the most expensive lineages in race horse history. She loves her animals
like family. Soon she and her horses are the talk of the town. She's got the
horses to beat and even rumored to have a Kentucky Derby contender. But Jody is
just a down to earth cowgirl inside and all this commotion has made her lose
her senses. She loves animals, blue sky and a true heart. Handsome regal
Christof is none of those honorable things.
is so enchanting that Jody can barely stop herself from wanting to grab and
kiss him! Jody of course hates him straight away! The truth is she should. Love
takes its twists and turns on the track of love, but somethings are destined to
happen. Modern day fairy-tales do happen. True love happens all the time. Sometimes, just sometimes that true love makes you a princess...
Book#1 Inside! Love
Miracles: Jody is a down to earth
horse girl who rarely has time to date. She wasn't prepared for the charismatic
handsome young royal to gamble with her heart!
Wanted: An Alpha Billionaire Prince Trilogy Series – The Royal Ball. #1 in
Philanthropy and Romance! Yes Dreams Do Come True, and stories like this make
you believe again! Princess Wanted is
the final story in our modern day Prince
Little Lawnmowers discover the Big Bad Combine has been rusting in a field and
decide to help him and teach him a better way of being. He learns compassion
and forgiveness and many other virtues...and by the end, needs an update to his
About the Author
Bruce is the mother of two who finds inspiration for her stories from her
children. Her son's love of all farm equipment, and "The Three Little
Pig's", influenced the story of the little lawnmowers, however, always in
teaching mode, she wanted to make sure an important lesson was learned in the
sequel. She has a bachelor's in education and a master's in school psychology,
and has conducted research to predict school drop-out for children with
learning disabilities. She works as a holistic self-awareness coach for
children, families and individuals. She has a passion for working with young
people, teaching them through stories and experiences, which helps to cultivate
positive behaviors leading to healthier relationships, happy and optimistic
attitudes, and purposeful living.
you experienced Divorce? Are you questioning what your future will
be after your vows of "I do" turn into "I do not" along
with the loss of all the dreams that never will be fulfilled? Divorced and Scared No More: Emotional
Support for the Newly Divorced is the first installment of the
three-part trilogy written to assist readers in post-divorce related matters
while providing you the motivation you need to move on.
Tasher speaks from personal experience; having gone through the many stages of
relationships. This includes denial of a failed marriage, expressiveness needed
to gain healing and how to remain emotionally grounded. You'll find ways
to embrace your new found freedom and turn the lemons life threw at you into a
Zesty Lemon Sorbet!
and clinical author Justin Nutt, LSCSW, LAC consulted as a technical advisor
for the series. Insuring everything presented be accurate and quality material
while still being a comforting, easy-to-read guide to surviving divorce.
Tony Haynes is a practitioner of Acrostic Poetry -poetry where the first, last
or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. At the end of
each chapter, you can look forward to reading a clever poem from words found
within the word DIVORCE.
are poetic thoughts that ask "How did I get here?" This
rite of passage has everything to do with life and our stories affect each
other because we are all connected. Now it's time to peek inside and see
how, where and why our lives intersect.
are so many insightful topics in the book, which will help you feel inspired to
look inward and become aware of your needs to help you live again. There
is still life after emotional death ... Isn't it time for you to be
happily divorced and Divorced and Scared
About the Authors
Tasherwas divorced on her 26th
wedding anniversary, and she embarked on a new life. Her marriage was broken
all to pieces, she was not going to let the divorce break her. Tasher quickly
discovered that single life was very different from all those years ago. One
case in point is dating; there was not an internet back then, and cell
phones didn’t exist. Like many, she initially was scared but
being a smart businessperson she set up a plan of how to date yet continue to
keep her and family safe.
has dyslexia yet always enjoyed writing and decided to share with others the
things she learned while rebuilding her life. The launch of Divorced and Scared
No More.com was November 2012 and quickly received a worldwide
following. As she started sharing her experiences, others in-turn shared some
of their stories. The intent of the site is for people to share without fear of
reprisals. The logo for the websites inspiration was a set of broken pilot
wings (her ex-husband is a pilot).
is not a professional therapist, rather she is sharing because she has “been
there and done that” and understands how it FEELS. No two people will have
identical situations, her hope is that the shared experiences will guide others
through this time in their life with the least amount of trepidation.
is single and a mother of three adult children and a proud Grammy to three
grandchildren. She lives in Houston, Texas with her daughter, two
grandchildren, two dogs, three cats, and the occasional rescue animal. You can
follow Tasher on FB Divorced
and Scared NO More and Twitter @Divorced_Scared.
Tony Haynes is a lyricist/songwriter/author/philosopher and
a practitioner of Acrostic Poetry. In less than a minute Tony can literally
pull words out of thin air. Give him the title of what you’d like to call your
poem, or song and he will create it for you on the spot. The catch is, he will
write your name in the air, and show you how the beginning of each line in the
work he’s creating spells the letters of your name downward. It’s an eloquent
combination of spontaneous penmanship & showmanship. He calls it
"Creativity in an Instant."
Tony realized he had this rare poetic talent, he was and still is a prolific
lyricist, songwriter, music publisher and record producer. In this capacity,
Tony has accomplished a great deal. "Send A Little Love," his first
song, was recorded by the Spinners in 1981. Since then, Tony’s songs have been
recorded on over 200 albums, selling in excess of 60 million copies worldwide.
These songs have earned him 60 gold and multi-platinum awards, as well as
several ASCAP Awards. He has collaborated with the most successful writers and
producers in the world. Rather than leave anyone out, feel free see Tony’s Wikipedia page for
more detail on this aspect of his creative life.
1993, Tony turned his considerable talents to the world of children’s
entertainment. He began producing audio products, writing books and creating
animated characters. Tony has authored 34 children's books based on the Baby
Looney Tunes characters. Tony is also the author of several books adults will
enjoy such as Reincarnation of Douglas Kavanaugh.
has added 'spoken word artist' to the hats he seems to juggle seamlessly. A
collaboration with French composer, Stephane d'Esposito; The Pianist and The
Poet is elegant and romantic production.
but certainly not least, Tony is also executive producing and creating original
programming for television. He has several shows in development based on
his novels and scripts.
April, 1935, and Tilly Carpenter is unhappy with her husband, Alex, who is
leading a campaign to oust Fire Chief Jake McCann from the Woodhill Fire
After two years in prison Bobby Darvey is obsessed with destroying Laura Darvey
and Jake. In Las Vegas, Bobby hires recently-widowed Nina Hernandez and her
daughter, 25-year-old Ramona to be a cook and maid for his Aunt Alma, who lives
in Woodhill. Since Ramona is a horsewoman, Bobby intends to use her to learn
the best time to torch Laura’s horse barn with all the horses—and Laura—in it.
Nina is told of the plan but Ramona knows nothing about it. Nina and Ramona are
driven to Woodhill by Bobby’s top man, Benjy Talbot, who on the trip, falls in
love with Nina. Several years earlier Benjy had a run-in with Jake so he is
apprehensive about meeting up with Jake in Woodhill, but his growing love for
Nina makes him willing to take the chance.
Just as his junior year in college is about to end, Alex and Tilly’s son, Bill,
goes to work for Bobby Darvey. At home for the summer, Bill and Tilly argue,
and Bill accidentally kills her. Bill calls his partner, Cooke, who arranges to
have Tilly’s body taken to a funeral home in Indiana, then it is made to appear
that Tilly, fed up with Alex and his plans, has left him.
Using a false name, Bobby finances Alex’s plan to oust Jake. As part of his
plan, Bobby hires men to buy sick horses from local auction barns and drop them
off at Laura’s farm so their infections will kill her horses. Instead of
bringing sick horses, the men bring starved horses to town, and Laura, Ramona,
and many Woodhill residents work to bring them back to health.
Bobby directs his men to call Alex with false leads as to where Tilly has been
spotted. Alex devotes his time to looking for her, but of course, with no
success, and that sends him into a deep depression so he no longer cares about
forcing Jake out. When Alex tells Bobby he will no longer try to get Jake
ousted, Bobby tells him that Bill killed Tilly and her body will not be
returned to Alex until Jake is fired. Alex is devastated.
Benjy and Jake finally have a confrontation, but it ends up that they can help
each other free themselves from Bobby. Since Benjy is trusted by Bobby, even
though the trust is beginning to erode, he is able to let Jake know of Bobby’s
plans to abduct Jake and Laura from Laura’s farm after shooting all the horses.
Benjy’s knowledge and Jake’s firefighters are able to thwart Bobby's plans. But
Bill and Cooke, having their own grudge against Laura, set Laura’s barn on
fire. Risking their lives, Ramona Hernandez and Eli Sheffler lead the horses to
About the Author
Loveman is an author, fire department officer, and a member of the National
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Fire and Life Safety
in Animal Housing Facilities. She has a degree in Fire and Safety Engineering
Technology from the University of Cincinnati and is a consultant on fire safety
in equine facilities. With more than forty years experience in the horse
industry, Laurie has written many articles for equine and fire service
publications, and her novels, set in the 1930s, reflect her interest not just
in horses, but also on topics relevant to firefighting today, such as
firefighter stress, medical ethics, and arson. You can learn more about
Laurie's FIREHOUSE FAMILY SERIES: MEMORIES, THE QUARRY, and THE FARM FIRES, by
visiting her website at www.laurieloveman.com.
Hickleberry is a mischievous, devil may care, pixie from Brandydook Kingdom.
Much to her astonishment and dismay, she is selected to be Prince Morgan's
bride. In fear of losing her independence, she escapes to the land of humans
where adventure and terror lurk at every turn. While Buttercup battles deadly
spiders and gigantic birds, amongst other things, Brandydook and all the pixies
are catapulted into terrible danger and only she holds the key to its survival.
Prince Morgan must find Buttercup and return her to his homeland before it's
About the Author
O'Byrne was born in county Limerick, Ireland. Following two and a half
years in Dublin on a City & Guilds course in photography, she went on to
teach English in Colombia then spent a further six months in France as part of
her European Studies degree. Lorraine loved writing at a very young age and
felt that this was where her true passion lay. She underwent an intensive
creative writing course before embarking on her first novel "The Wrath of
Voodoo" (adult fiction) published in 2004 but since then has turned to
writing children's books. Her love of children's stories comes from the active
imagination she had as a child, Walt Disney Movies and the animals on her farm.
guide to setting up your garden for stress relief!
is going to help you from head to toe, inside out – and it won’t just be a
benefit to you personally, but to your loved ones as well.
spiritual nature is as important as your physical and mental state in your
overall well-being. Whether or not you belong to an organized religion or
belief system, you can find spiritual satisfaction in gardening by relieving
stress and allowing your mind to focus on something besides life’s many
in the soil has the same effect on your mind as athletic activity. It’s now
viewed by medical science as a way to get mental and spiritual therapy for
those who are depressed.
foliage, flowers, water, wildlife and smells all add to the harmonious nature
of a garden and can have many healing effects when you’re exposed. Gardening
has long been recommended to those recovering from surgery to gain optimism and
hope to nurture your life and your spiritual side.
miracle of growing living things provides us with a sense that life goes on no
matter what else may be happening. We sometimes forget that in a world where we
live by someone else’s schedules and wants and needs. Ralf Papenberg is a German and English Author and Blogger,
residing in France. Papenberg loves to write, cook, and garden.