equestrian and equine writer
From the short stirrup classes at dusty hunter/jumper shows in Florida to
galloping the inner dirt at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City, it's always
been about Thoroughbreds. Beginning with a blog about retraining a retired
racehorse named Final Call, Reinert published her first novella, The Head and Not The Heart, in 2011.
This was just the first of her "horse books for grown-ups." The Alex and Alexander series follow two
racehorse trainers determined to do the right thing by their horses and
themselves in a trying business. In 2014, the second volume, Other People's Horses, was named a
semi-finalist for the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, for full-length horse racing
also has published three equestrian-themed historical romance novels. Having
worked with horses from eventing, to breeding, to racing, to mounted police
work, Reinert draws on more than twenty years of personal equestrian experience
to create stories with accuracy, believable details, and fully realized
settings in all her work.
When was your first
encounter with a horse?
literally have no idea! I remember pony rides at county fairs… I remember
bouncing on the back of a horse at a family reunion… I remember trips to Land
of Little Horses in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. These all took place when I was a
little, little girl in Maryland, so I must have been a toddler.
What can we look forward
to in your newest book release?
absolutely satisfied with it… which might be a while. I have been working on a
book called Ambition for several
years now. I write it, I put it aside, I pull it out and rewrite large chunks
of it, I put it aside, and repeat this cycle over and over. Now, it’s my main
focus. I have a draft of the next Alex
and Alexander novel, Turning For Home,
as well, but I really want to finish Ambition.
It’s set in eventing, instead of racing, and I think it takes a different look
at the compromises and hard choices of the horse business -- this time from a
more personal perspective than Other
People’s Horses, which is more about the choices we make for our horses.
This is more about ourselves, and what we are willing to do to reach the top.
What other books have
written four contemporary works and three historical romances. The contemporary
books, Horse-Famous: Stories, The Head and Not The Heart, Other People’s Horses, and Claiming Christmas, all involve horse
racing and the everyday lives of people in the business. They’re all straight
fiction; I don’t write crime novels or murder mysteries, unlike a lot of the
other novels out there set in horse racing. I’ve worked on breeding farms,
training centers, and at the racetrack, and I never saw a single murder, but
our days were plenty interesting anyway! I’ve long thought that the people who devote
their lives to horse racing would appreciate writing that reflected their
thoughts and experiences.
How do you maintain
thoughts and ideas?
notebooks full of outlines, chunks of dialogue and descriptions, even lists of
my fictional horses and their racing histories and pedigrees. My first drafts
are usually hand-written. The pen and my brain seem to flow at the same time. I
do rewrites on the computer, using Scrivener to organize chapters and “cut
Where do you like to
my own desk, but sometimes if I need an extra boost to shame me into working
(and not procrastinating) I’ll go to a cafe. I would never check Facebook at a
cafe, for example. I’d be so embarrassed to be seen just messing around with
all those keys typing around me. But at home, I can get distracted by social
media very easily.
Do you have advice for
popular advice of all, which is to write an outline and stick to it. I always
regret leaving my outline. If I get a wild idea, I pause and block out where
that wild idea will take me. Otherwise, it’s nearly always a dead end that
confuses everything else I’ve written, and I don’t realize that until I’m
revising, and then it’s just a mess! Take an hour, drink a latte, and write an
outline. It will save you so much trouble down the road.
your brain might work completely differently than mine, so maybe this doesn’t
do you any good. Just write however you want. Just be sure you’re doing it.
What has been the
biggest challenge you've faced in your writing career?
been a big problem for me. When to write, how much am I writing, am I writing
enough? There are no real answers to these questions. I don’t think writing
5,000 words that you’re going to delete tomorrow is necessarily a worthwhile
enterprise. I don’t “get my pages done.” I do what my creativity will let me
do. When I’m in a writing place, I write. When I’m not, I either try to get
there, usually by pulling out a notebook and a pen, or I do something else. I
don’t stare at the screen or just type for the sake of typing, though.
When you are not
writing, what is your favorite thing to do?
obsessed with all things Disney, so I am an agent with a Disney-focused travel
agency and spend a lot of time on trip planning for clients. It’s such a
welcome relief to get out of my head and all these emotional characters and
just think about how to make sure a family has a great trip or a newlywed
couple has the perfect honeymoon. I like to have something to turn to that is
not horses in any way, shape or, form.
evening I shut my laptop, turn on NPR, and cook dinner from scratch. I use a
lot of butter. It’s not ideal. But it’s such a pleasure to stand up for an
hour, listen to someone else beside myself, not think about writing or any
other work things... and I love butter, so… that reminds me, I’m making mashed
potatoes tonight and I need more butter.
What does horsemanship
mean to you?
is learning everything you can about the horse, and then doing everything you
can to give the horse the best and most productive life possible. There is no
limit to horsemanship. It’s about listening, learning, and becoming the most
humble and also the most assertive person you can possibly be. You have to know
when you are the alpha and when you are the partner. It’s all about the good of
List 10 things that your
fans might not know about you.…
writing obsessively about Thoroughbreds, my first horse was a Quarter Horse…
and he was a darling.
- One of my
favorite jobs ever was grooming for Ralph Hill, the great event rider. I gave
it up because I didn’t want to travel, but it was wonderful. I met a lot of
people I looked up to in the sport, like the O’Connors, and worked with
fantastic horses every day.
currently live in Brooklyn, New York and haven’t been around a horse since last
May. I’m on a horse vacation, and I have to tell you, it’s very relaxing to not
have to worry about getting home in time to feed every night…
- Before my
horse vacation, I was working with the New York City Parks Department’s Mounted
unit, and riding Percherons and Clydesdales around city landmarks like Central
freelance writing career started with a series of features and interviews for a
cheerleading magazine. Entirely by chance -- I didn’t know a thing about
cheerleading at the time!
- I’m an Indie
Rock fan and buy vinyl records instead of CDs. My favorite band is The
National, although I doubt this is a secret to anyone who has looked at my
commercials make me cry.
- I still
harbor a tiny secret wish to event at the Advanced level, although I’m aware
this won’t happen, and I’m okay with that!
self-published my books because I wanted to write for adult horse-people on
their level, instead of writing for a general audience that would need training
terms and horsecare spelled out for them. I have a dream of starting a
publishing company that specializes in equestrian fiction for equestrians or horse-books
for grown-ups, as I call them.
- I have a
file on my computer of book ideas I haven’t had time for yet. There are at
least a dozen. So there are many, many more books to come!