Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lisa Wysocky, Equine Author


Lisa is the author of many stories, including 
The Power of Horses: 
True Stores from Country Music Stars

Welcome Lisa! 

Where are you in the world?

Nashville, Tennessee, but I also spend a lot of time where I grew up, in the Mound/Orono area of Lake Minnetonka, just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

When did you begin writing?

In ninth grade science class. I wasn’t doing well and my teacher said I could get extra credit if I wrote reports on the elements. I looked up every element in the encyclopedia (this was long before the Internet) and re-wrote the first two or three paragraphs of each element into lay terms. I turned in dozens of reports and when I got an A+ in the class I thought, hmmm, this writing thing might be useful.

What books have you written?

The Power of Horses: True Stories from Country Music Stars

Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had (with Brad Cohen)
I am so excited that this book was turned into a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie!

Success Within: How to Create the Greatest Moments of Your Life

My Horse, My Partner: Teamwork on the Ground
Includes a companion DVD

Horse Country: A Celebration of Country Music and the Love of Horses

Success Talks: 101 Positive Things to Say to Yourself

The Opium Equation; A Cat Enright Equestrian Mystery

Two Foot Fred: How My Life Has Come Full Circle (with Fred Gill)

Plus a number of books that I have ghostwritten, and even more that I have edited. 

Where do you like to write?

I have a beautiful, idealistic vision of writing in my barn, or in the pasture with the horses. But within two minutes of opening my laptop I always see something (other than writing) that needs to be done. So instead, I mostly write at home where it is quiet. I am easily distracted by music or human conversation, so my home office is a good place. But sometimes I write on the couch in the living room, at the dining room table, or even in my bed. That’s the great thing about laptops; I can write just about anywhere.

How do you maintain your thoughts and ideas?

Great question. I have a computer file where I write down the big ideas for books, but for each book I write the details of my thoughts and ideas in an old-fashioned spiral notebook.  Most of my thoughts, however, stay organized in my head. If I lose train of one, I just get up from the computer and go for a short walk, or put a load of clothes into the washer and bingo, my ideas are all organized in the front of my mind.

What are you currently writing?

I am currently working on four books. The first is the sequel to my award-winning mystery, The Opium Equation. It is titled The Magnum Equation and puts Cat Enright and her barn crew at an all-breed horse show on a university campus here in Tennessee. Between dead people and injured horses, Cat tries to keep her loved ones and herself safe.

The second book I am co-authoring with Shyima Hall for the young adult division of Simon & Schuster. Shyima was born in Egypt but her parents sold her into slavery when she was eight. Her captors later moved her to their home in Orange County, California and she was a child slave here in the United States before being rescued when she was a young teen. Shyima has an amazing story and I am thrilled that I get to help her tell it.

The third book is a book on selecting horses for therapy programs, and the fourth is a book I am writing with horseman Sam Powell on horse and barn safety.

I also just finished Walking on Eggshells with Lyssa Chapman. Baby Lyssa is the daughter of Dog the Bounty Hunter and her inspiring autobiography will be out from the Christian division of Simon & Schuster, Howard Books, in May 2013.

Any suggestions for beginning writers?

Yes! Write something every day. Go to as many book fairs and expos and writers conferences as you can. Take as many English, writing, or composition classes as possible and also learn the business of writing. A book called Publish Your Nonfiction Book by my literary agent, Sharlene Martin, is invaluable to new nonfiction writers and also to writers of fiction. Finally, build your platform. Even if you write fiction, a publisher will want to know that you have a gi-normous built-in audience who will buy your book. The more social networking you can do, and the more you can become a recognized and respected expert in whatever you write about, the better.

Any suggestions for beginning riders?

Definitely! Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable on your horse, know that your horse is just as uncomfortable as you are, and that’s never a good thing. Build your skills on the ground, in the round pen, and by learning to longe, long line, and ground drive. Learn as much as you can about the mind of the horse, how they experience the world differently from humans and why they behave the way they do. Watch horses in the pasture and try to determine which horse is the herd leader. When riding, the two-point is the most valuable balancing tool you can ever learn. If you can hold a two-point with your heels down you are in balance with your horse, and you are using the correct leg muscles to ride properly. Be sure your saddle fits your horse, as that is the number one cause of soreness and discomfort in horses. I’d better stop. I could go on forever here!



No comments: