Sunday, March 23, 2014

Heidi Furseth, Equine Author

Welcome USA author and equestrian Heidi Furseth

Heidi is the author of EASY LOVE, a wonderful, heartwarming tale between horse and rider! EASY LOVE delves into a young girl's passion for horses; the overpowering need to touch, connect, and ride! 

Recommended reading, EASY LOVE is for every rider and horse owner - and for those just wishing. 

How long have you been riding?
Gulp. 45 years. Actually it's been longer than that- I got my first horse when I was 9 but from age 3 onward I'd throw my leg over anything with four legs, including the family dog.

What is your riding discipline?
Low level dressage. Very low level!

Where do you like to ride?
I love the trails around western Washington but I can't resist big, open fields where I can get a good gallop fix. And there's nothing better than riding on the beach.

Do you have a favorite horse breed?
Ha ha. I am a horse slut, I love the one I'm on. Right now I'm totally smitten with my Saddlebred, Remy. He's wicked smart, uber personable and is so flexible he can touch his nose to his tail and still move in a straight line!

What books have you written?  
EASY LOVE is the coming of age story of a horse crazy girl growing up in rural western Washington. Oddly enough it came to life in NYC. I remember watching these girls on the subway, they were probably 11 or 12, wearing school uniforms and bent over their phones. I remember thinking "how are they ever going to learn about life like that"? Not that you don't learn things in the city, they see things every day that scare the crap out of me, but how are they going to learn about birth and life and death? I got to thinking about all the lessons I learned while growing up on horseback- what it means to have another creature depend on you, how important trust is, how to be calm and patient when you feel anything but, how to be a leader even when you're not sure where you're going, and how, when you really love someone, you sometimes have to do things that are very, very hard. And for the first time I realized how privileged I am to share my lives with horses. I wanted to tell that story, and so I wrote EASY LOVE.

What are you currently writing? 
It's a young adult novel. There is a horse in it (of course!), but it isn't as horse-centric as EASY LOVE. Stay tuned.

Are your characters based upon your own personal experience, or from another source?
EASY LOVE could be called a "novel from life"- not a memoir but based on my growing up, so Ann is very much like me, and all the animals are plucked whole from my life. I borrowed a lot of the human characters from other people's families, which, growing up, I found so much more interesting than my own. The two most fictional characters are the farrier, Willow, and the horse trainer, Tim. I totally made them up; I think because they reflect who I want to be.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?
Time. Specifically a lack thereof.  I love my horses and can't imagine life without them but they take up a lot of time and physical and emotional energy and between them and a full time job I run out of hours in a day. I have to get up early and get my writing done before my day begins because by 7 or 8 in the evening I'm knackered.

What does horsemanship mean to you?
Horsemanship means having a deeply personal relationship with your mount. Having horses and riding them is meaningless if you don't celebrate them as individuals. That's the best lesson horses teach US- that life isn't all about OUR needs and OUR wants. We have to remember it's a two way street- we practice horsemanship but our horses have to practice humanship!

List 10 things about yourself that your readers may not know...
1. My brain has two degrees- my left brain has a BS in Medical Technology and my right brain has a BA in Creative Writing.
2. I'm a vegetarian though I recently ate alligator- I figured that was fair since the alligator would've eaten me given half the chance.
3. I have double jointed toes though I haven't been able to figure out what advantage that give me in real life.
4. I love water (a good thing since I live the rainy Pacific NW).
5. I am an award winning baker- I make pony shaped cookies and paint them to resemble people's actual horses.
6. I love purple- even my horses' blankets are lavender. Kind of a girly color but luckily Remy doesn't mind it when people say "Oh what a cute mare!” He just hears the "cute" part and begs for a cookie.
7. I am an avid mountain biker and have become very adept at crashing.
8. I love ziplining. It doesn't involve crashing.
9. I am a Downtown Abbey fan though I don't think there are enough horses in the show.
10. I am obsessed with Project Runway though I myself only wear jeans or breeches and I'm usually covered in horse hair. That's my signature style!

Connect with Heidi!

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