Free competition

Gemosi Harmony horse hair bracelet with crystal slider

 

Free to enter  Gemosi  competition – *LIKE AND SHARE* it’s that easy

Please like and share this post, PM us your email address via  our Facebook  page, Lavender and White Equestrian Publishing and when the page reach’s 500 likes the winners will be picked at random.

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching  – as if you had forgotten!

Could be the time for some HEAVY hints to the special person in your life to make sure you get a gift you REALLY want. What could be nicer than something that reminds you of your horse, regardless of if it’s a present from your other half, or from you to you?

A wonderful, romantic Valentine’s Gift idea for horse lovers is to have a piece of jewellery handmade for your horsey other half, from the tail hair of their own horse. What could be more special or more romantic?

Custom made Gemosi Horse Hair Jewellery is expertly made to the highest standard, using fine quality sterling silver or gold findings.  Choose from several different designs, with optional Swarovski crystal charms or sterling silver beads to make this an extremely special Valentine’s Gift. New designs especially for this, the most romantic day of the year include the ‘Eternity’ necklace with its beautiful sterling silver heart toggle and the ‘Amor’ bracelet, with its gorgeous solid sterling silver heart.

Gemosi Horse Hair Jewellery designs have also captured the hearts of many horse-loving men. The simple elegance of the Spirit and Harmony horse hair bracelet designs allows the beauty of his horse’s hair to shine through, without any added un-manly bling.

We’ve teamed up with equestrian jewellery company Gemosi with a free to enter competition to win a E50 (or equivalent) voucher towards a Gemosi bracelet.

Why you shouldn’t pitch your book to a publisher

 

Maybe you have a wonderful idea for a novel or would like to share your knowledge in a non-fiction book. Writing a book is a fabulous way to promote your business by showing how knowledgeable you are about your area of expertise.

money

Up until fairly recently authors had very little choice when it came to publishing. There were two routes – either approach a publisher, or to self-publish. The latter seemed to be the domain of people who had written obscure works that no publisher would touch.

 

Fortunately the marketplace has changed and publishing via a company which specialises in helping independent authors has become a viable option for authors.

 

Traditional versus self/assisted publishing

•           The media love stories of authors being given huge advances. The reality is very different, advances are generally small and are offset against future sales of which the author earns 10% of the cover price.

•           When you eventually find a publisher to take your book, the process of producing it takes at least a year. They buy the rights to your book and will edit and design the cover to suit their budget and house style. All control is taken out of your hands.

 

Print on demand options as well as online e-book sellers have dramatically changed the publishing world. Why give a publishing house your book and let them make all of the money out of it when you’ve put all of the hard work in?

 

Publish independently and the whole selling price goes into your pocket.

 

•           With self or shared publishing, you have total control over the contents, design and appearance of the book.

•           Once you have finished the manuscript you can have a finished book; hardcover, paperback or e-book for sale within days.

 

The choice is yours

•           Are you willing to gamble and hope you will earn a large advance from a publisher? Or is control of your manuscript and finances more important?

•           There is no reason why you shouldn’t be one of the lucky authors who get a multi-million advance – but equally, there is no reason why you can’t sell a million copies of your own book and earn the whole of the cover price.

 

A company specialising in working with independent authors will help

 

Sounds very simple, but all of the jobs the traditional publisher would do, such as editing, cover design and marketing will need to be  professionally done.

•           The book market is very competitive.

•           Your book must be as good as it can possibly be.

•           It is vitally important your book is properly edited and presented. A poor book complete with editing and formatting errors will put off future readers.

•           A company who specialise in assisting independent authors will be able to help with promotion – vital for sales.

Oh! Did I mention Lavender and White Equestrian Publishing – we specialise in equestrian fiction and non-fiction and are always looking for authors and new writers to work with.  Please contact us at info@lavenderandwhite.co.uk

 

A Good Year – we hope!

We are all so excited – we’ve got some great projects in the pipeline this year. Polly Grosvenor’s fabulous Equestrian Legends promises to be one of our ‘big’ books. One problem at the moment for Polly is when to stop writing. She is covering both human and equestrian legends from all kinds of disciplines from show jumping to racing as well as those who have made a major contribution to our world, such as Black Beauty and the courageous Sefton. As you can imagine – there are so many incredible horses and humans who deserve the title of equestrian legend.

 

A book that we are sure will be one of our best sellers is a children’s pony story with is a collaboration between Jacqui Broderick, who has five books under her belt and ESMA award winning equestrian artist Tony O’Connor.

 

American authors Natalie Kreinert, who has written nine books and Judith Tarr, the author of almost fifty books will now be published by Lavender and White Equestrian Publishing. Natalie’s latest book The Head And Not The Heart will be launched this spring. Judith Tarr is publishing a collection of equestrian fantasy short stories, Nine White Horses this spring.

 

We also have two new non-fiction titles to add to our stable. Bradley Whale has written a hugely informative book, Equine Biomechanics – The Secret to Competition Success. This is the first of a series of books which details equestrian therapy and its uses.  This spring will see the publication of dressage expert Michael Stevens’ latest book A Classical Schooling Guide.

 

These and our other books will be available in the spring on our web site, which we are in the process of updating in order to better showcase these and our other books. Haynet, the blogging site for all things equestrian and Lavender and White Equestrian Publishing are working together on a writing competition, which will be launched shortly.  Hopefully we will have time to ride with all of these new projects!

 

We are thrilled that these authors have joined us and are looking forward to working with more new and experienced equestrian authors of fiction and non-fiction this year.

How to write a children’s pony story

How to write a children’s pony story

donkey face 3

 

If you – like me – grew up on an undiluted literary diet of Ruby Ferguson and the

Pullein-Thompson sisters and are, or would like to be a writer, what better inspiration could you find than their wonderful stories.

 

What could be more fun than writing for children about the pony world. Children are great fun to write for; their imaginations are so vivid that they appreciate a writer’s creativity.

 

How to find inspiration

 

Fancy trying your hand at writing for children but haven’t got inspired yet? Re-read some of your favourite books, chose a story that fits your interests, such as fantasy, action or mystery.

 

If you have children of your own, involve them in your brainstorming session. What their minds will come up with may send in a whole new direction and to new levels of creativity!

Part of the great fun of writing a children’s story is that it doesn’t need to be realistic. Although there are some incredible exceptions the biggest difference between children’s and adult books is that you can write about talking ponies, or other animals.

 

The world depicted in most children’s stories is bright, colourful and optimistic; the personality of the main character should have mostly positive traits, such as bravery, intelligence, humour, beauty and so on. However, don’t automatically dismiss dark stories, there are some very successful children’s series on the market at the moment but do decide if this is appropriate for the age level of your readers.

 

Cool characters

 

Once you have an idea for your story you need to come up with some interesting characters. Decide who is the main character or characters of the story? Before you begin, make an outline of the characters and how they fit into the story. In order to get to know your characters better make detailed notes of the world they inhabit.

 

Write a story outline

 

Unless you’re writing for a very young age level where it’s appropriate not to have a traditional plot it is helpful to  plan the story structure in advance. This will give you an understanding of the beginning, middle and end of the story, and of how the characters will interact and evolve. A good story must have some sort of conflict or obstacle that the main character has to resolve, after which everyone lives “happily ever after.”

 

Write with flair

 

For young children, focus on silly things that will have both the child and the adult reader laughing together; use made-up words and simple rhyming schemes. Dr. Seuss will give you a great idea of how this is done to great effect. Show, don’t tell – this statement is true for whatever age you write for. Show what is happening through speech and action not through flat statements. Your writing should be of the best quality, to encourage young readers to love their language and to want to read more.

 

 

Illustrations

 

Illustrations can make or break a book. For young children especially illustrations are essential, they add to the interest level of the story and make it easier to follow.

 

Be age appropriate

 

Make sure your writing is age appropriate. For example, smaller children enjoy stories with simple plots, plays on words and repeated phrases. Older children want a more intricate plot and a tone that appreciates that they are becoming more mature.

 

Ages 3 to 5 years: Use sentences with a low level of complexity that explain the motivation behind actions shown on the page. Themes include: adventures; a pony or animal getting lost and finding its way home; thinking of others before yourself; explaining how you feel; learning how to resolve arguments; deal with disappointment.

Ages 5 to 7 years: Use bigger words but be careful with them so as not to frustrate new readers. At this point, books can be long enough to read over two or three nights with a parent’s help. Themes include: overcoming challenges; learning new skills; understanding good reasons to do something and bad reasons to do something; helping solve problems.

 

How to write convincing characters

character 1When writing fiction it is the central character or characters who carry the story. Your readers have to become so involved in their lives that they don’t want to put the book down. When an author does a really good job the reader is sorry when the book ends, it is a physical wrench to tear yourself away from the character. When the author does a bad job the reader quickly loses interest in the book, they don’t care about the character or their life.

 

So what is it about a character that makes us love them – or even love to hate them. Readers want to read about characters they can identify with – characters that are as flawed as real people are, characters that struggle and characters that change through the book. The woman who is afraid to ride who wins a big event. The snobby bitch who learns to let others in. Someone who is always unlucky in love who finally finds the perfect mate.

 

 

Most of the time, in fiction the characters  are changing for the better. But there’s also room for characters who change for the worse or who are not nice, Derry Blake in Jacqui Broderick’s novels is a great example of a handsome rake who we love to hate.

 

Of course there are characters who don’t change – they simply are who they are – Grace Tallis in Sarah Lewis’s book Hell Hath No Fury, is a detective, flawed and struggling with a bad relationship, but that never changes, what intrigues readers are the challenges she deals with.

 

But these characters can be difficult to write well—and they’re more the exception than the rule. So let’s focus on how the character’s struggle can grip your readers and bring them on a roller coaster love affair with your protagonist.

 

When you’re first getting to know your character, you might be tempted to think only about who a character is. But to keep your characters interesting you must also think about what your character can become. How will this character respond when shown they are wrong or dysfunctional in some way and  are offered a better alternative?

character 2

 

People don’t like to change. It’s so much easier to stay as we are, even if it’s damaging us. People stay forever in dreadful relationships, horses stay in burning barns – what is familiar is safe.  In fiction, as in life, people resist change.

 

We resist right up until the moment when it hurts too much. Eventually the pain and consequences become too much and a change is forced. Your job as an author is to force your character to feel that pain. Poke and prod and create emotional pain until the only option for the character is to begin the inner journey to change.

 

The Inner Journey

In fiction terms, a character’s transformation is called his inner journey or character arc, an odyssey which sends them through a virtual spin dryer and brings them out the other side stronger and re-born.

 

A character’s inner journey has five major phases:

 

•                  Initial Condition (the dilemma)

•                  Inciting Event

•                  Escalation

•                  Moment of Truth

•                  Final State.

 

The Dilemma

The five phases are steps on a voyage between two points: the  dilemma and the moment of truth. The journey itself is a measure of where the character is along the progression between these two points.

 

 

The dilemma is the thing that is wrong with your character, the thing that is messing up your character’s life.

 

Inciting Event:

You as novelist decide you’re going to force your character to deal with it. So you begin sending difficulties into the character’s life. Make it progressively harder for them to ignore the folly of the choices they are making. Through the course of the novel you will show the character clearly how the situation is harming them and you will show her the way forward.

 

Escilation:

It’s that hanging-in-the-balance that keeps your readers engaged. The character looks as if they will never attain resolution or change.

 

Moment of Truth:

Your novel is about what your main character decides at her moment of truth. Everything else is just the vehicle to drive them to that penultimate moment.

 

Final State:

The resolution of the story when the character has changed, altered the destructive course of action and are re-born.

 

 

Procrastination – the killer of new year resolutions

Is writing a novel on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Yep! You and probably millions of others.

 

So come on then – make this year the one to actually fulfil that resolution instead of falling by the wayside because you’ve listened to that nagging voice inside your head that says you can’t.

 

What makes a writer is quite simply the ability to ignore those excuses and actually make a start.

books 2

Here are the most crippling of book-wreckers – and the reasons none of them really matter:

 

1.  I have no time to write: – Every writer is time-challenged, whether they are on their first book or their twenty first. But even if you only write for 5 or 10 minutes a day you’ll eventually end up with a book. Anyone can find those few minutes if they really want to.

 

2. I’m too old: – Rubbish! Readers don’t know – or care how old you are. Lots of authors didn’t even start writing until they were middle aged or even older.  Look at it this way – the older you are the more experience of life you have to share.

 

3. I don’t have a college degree:-  Big deal! And guess what – it’s not a problem. All you need to know are the basic rules of grammar and how to express yourself on paper. Don’t let your lack of knowledge about a nonfiction topic stop you from writing about it either – that’s what research is all about.

cute butt

4. Everything’s been written about:- Maybe – but as our world changes so does the way you can present an idea. What life has thrown at you will have given you have a unique way of looking at the world in a way that no one else can.

 

5. Only books by celebrities and already published authors will sell: – Rubbish! There are millions and millions of books by ordinary folks who have, step-by-step, built wonderful writing careers. All you need is a good story, or a new take on a non-fiction book.

magazine she read about in CBI.

 

Just start writing and keep writing! If you’re going to be a writer, in the end all you really need to do is plant yourself in a chair and make a start.

 

Want to get lucky with your writing?

The more I practice the luckier I get

 

 

The origins of the quote might be a little doubtful now, but the sentiment remains the same. The same goes for writers – the more you write – the more you’ll find readers.

 

But how to keep motivated is the hard thing:

 

Make writing your number one priority, forget about cleaning the house, cooking dinner – no matter – you have writing to do! If you get an idea act on it straight away if possible.

 

A writer needs to be driven to write stories—they should always be playing in your head. Writing should be your hobby, passion and release from real life. Even if you don’t feel particularly creative, start writing anyway. It feels forced at first, and then the story opens up and you’ll begin see the characters. Don’t give in to writer’s block, jump to a different scene or book, or go do something completely different until the story opens up again.

 

 

Write down your big and little goals and track your progress – that way you can see exactly how far you’ve come. The price of success is dedication, hard work, and an unrelenting drive to achieve the things you want to see happen.  Live by that last sentence and believe in yourself and your dreams. By keeping a goal book you will achieve all kinds of things in your writing career as well as in your life.

 

Promote the hell out of your writing and yourself. Sometimes luck comes out of the blue, and other times it comes from taking educated risks.

Being a successful author means making your own luck. The word “opportunity” comes from the phrase, “Ob Portu,” which means waiting for the tide. Ships couldn’t leave port during low tide, so the sailors filled the cargo, and when the tide came in, they sailed.

 

holidays are over horse

 

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year!

We are all glad to be back in action again – looking forward to working with existing and new clients in 2014.

Some very exciting new projects coming up and some wonderful books due to be published in what looks like being a sensational year for Lavender and White Equestrian Publishing.

holidays are over horse

Happy Christmas!

 

christmas horse 2

Well folks – that’s it for now. We are closing up for Christmas. Time to relax for a couple of weeks. We’ve got horses to ride, books to read and had probably better spend a bit of time with our families too! I’m sure though there will be plenty of sneaking off to work on our own novels and what better place to work on plot lines than when snoozing through some dreary old film.

 

We are all hoping that all of those heavy hints for present ideas will have come to fruition. Seriously – what good are tiny scraps of lace to horse girls? We have other needs – horse rugs, saddles, head collars!

christmas horse

Thanks to everyone for their amazing support during 2013. We are looking forward to getting back to work in 2014 and making Lavender and White Equestrian Publishing even bigger and better. There are some great new books ready to burst out of the starting stalls and new authors who are already champing at the bit.

christmas 2

Happy Christmas!

An interview with equestrian author Natalie Keller Reinert

    head and not the heart cover

Where are you based?

My family and I live in Brooklyn, New York. When we first came here, my husband and I were working for a trainer at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens; we fell in love with Brooklyn, which has amazing neighbourhoods with a real small-town vibe. We’re from Florida and the winter weather can really bring us down, but overall Brooklyn is a wonderful city – very hospitable to the writing life.

What kind of horses do you own and why this breed?

We’re Thoroughbred people. My first horse was a Quarter Horse, but when I was thirteen my parents bought me a Thoroughbred who had been neglected after he turned out to be a poor racehorse. Learning to work with his amazing mind and athletic body justified all the romantic ideas I had about horses after growing up reading The Black Stallion novels. I adore Thoroughbreds.

Did you grow up with horses?

I did a bit — my family were not horse-people but my parents recognised my passion and worked really hard to keep me in horses, riding lessons, getting me to horse shows. I spent most of my childhood as a working student in some capacity or another. I worked really, really hard for my horse-time. My school-age social life was the people I saw at the barn every day. I have no regrets!

What do you do with your horses?

I’m not riding right now, but of all the work I’ve done — breeding, racing, eventing, dressage, hunters, mounted police work — I love eventing and galloping racehorses the best. I would do either one again in a heartbeat, but only on a pretty solid horse. I’ve hit the ground enough, thanks!

Describe a normal day for you

I look at Twitter. No, actually, my days are full of work. I try to go for a run, although I can’t always convince myself. I drink a lot of coffee and write or do freelance work all day. In the evenings I listen to National Public Radio and cook. Cooking is just the best! When I was in the horse business, I was always too tired and sore at night to cook. Now it’s my decompression time and I just love it. It turns out that if you can read, you can cook – recipes are out there, just follow them!

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. There are boxes in closets full of my pony stories. I made the big leap to writing a novel that other people were actually allowed to read after blogging for a few years and getting a thick enough skin to know I could take the pressure and criticism.

Do you write full time?

I did for a bit, but now I also have a travel business. Writing novels doesn’t pay reliably from month to month, and I’m not an eight-hour-a-day writer at all. I tried  magazine work but I didn’t love it. I am very passionate about travel, so I am a concierge and travel planner with Glass Slipper Concierge, which specialises in Disney destinations. I also do some equestrian travel, like Kentucky Bluegrass tours, but I worked for Disney for many years and it’s a subject I know better than most! I enjoy closing a manuscript to work on someone’s Disney vacation or to write a blog post about cruising… the change is nice and it freshens my mind for the next writing session.

What inspires you to write?

Things that outrage me. Things that amaze me. Memories. Thoughts of the road not taken. Curiosity about people’s choices. Imaginary people in my head. I never expected that the characters in The Head and Not The Heart would take up residence in my head and live their own lives, but I think about them every single day, so I almost have to write about them.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write until you have something can read aloud to an audience without cringing. Or to your significant other. Or to your mother. And your writing is only as good as what you’ve been reading. Take careful stock of your reading choices. Don’t read candy when you’re trying to write caviar.

How do you keep motivated?

I think appreciation from fans and reviewers has a lot to do with it some days. There are so many things I can do with my day that are easier than writing. I really had to quit working at the racetrack to finish The Head and Not The Heart. I had to make myself focus by having nothing else to fall back on.

Is it still easy to come up with stories?

It’s very easy to come up with stories. It’s much harder to turn them into novels. It’s all that middle-bit that’s tricky.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I drink some wine, I do something else, I go to a cafe where I am shamed into working because if I open Facebook everyone else will see that I’m the girl sitting in the cafe looking at Facebook. To be precise I don’t get writer’s block – you can always write something – but I do suffer from everything-I’m-writing-is-awful.

How do you write – ie do you plan a book carefully, or just sit down and let it pour out?

I outline. When I was younger I made a big deal out of how creative and wonderful I was and I couldn’t be hampered by an outline, but when I was younger I never finished anything either. I’ve really learned my lesson with outlines. Anytime I go on a tangent, I tend to cut it out in a subsequent revision.

How do you celebrate when you have finished a book?

I don’t write anything for a day or two, and then I feel tremendously guilty and I start working on another project. I have so many drafts of novels, even if I didn’t have another idea for a story for years, I’d be able to put out a novel a year for the next decade. I have no excuses to not be writing.

Have you won any awards for your writing?

I haven’t, which is probably in part because I’ve never entered any contests. I can never be bothered with the entrance fees. I look and say “You want $75 for the privilege of reading my book and judging it?” Good reviews are good enough for me, and when my readers are kind enough to write me reviews, that’s my award.

Any writing goals you have still yet to achieve?

I don’t think I have any goals, necessarily, unless you consider income goals. I want to write. I write. Other people think it’s good enough to pay for — that’s amazing. What else could you want?

How easy was it to get published?

I went back and forth on self-publishing for a long time before I decided it was the way to go, and I’m very happy with my decision. I knew I wanted to write a horse book for horse-people, which left most mainstream publishing houses out. But most equestrian speciality publishers put out very expensive books, even in paperback. It wasn’t the hardest thing in the world to self-publish — it was much harder to get read. It took more than nine months for The Head and Not The Heart to really start selling. A trade publisher would have given up and remaindered the printing by then.

How many books have you written?

I’ve written nine books, and I’ve published four under Natalie Keller Reinert, including a collection of short stories. The others are either romances I wrote under a pseudonym or still waiting on my hard drive, hoping to be perfected so that they can see the light of day.

How do you promote yourself as a writer?

When I started, it was largely through blogging — I had been writing Retired Racehorse Blog for some time and that was where the original readership came from. Now that I have a visible backlist on Amazon, the books tend to promote themselves. I’m active on Facebook and Twitter and now and then I remind people that I have a new book out, or a new review, but mainly I focus on fostering relationships with my readers. It’s nice because they feel free to give me their input on how my characters are evolving.

What do you think about the rise of e-publishing?

I love it. I love downloading a book and reading it on my Nook right away. Initially I was one of those haters who disdained e-books in favour of “real books,” but I got over it. I have both. No one is becoming illiterate because books are easier to access.

What do you think are the benefits of e-publishing?

The biggest benefit is the rise of the niche market. My books are prime example of that — equestrian-themed novels that aren’t about teenagers or murder mysteries. And if you do want an equestrian teenager or murder story, you can get better ones now, written with more accuracy. Horse books don’t have to be written for the lowest common denominator anymore, which means that we as equestrians can enjoy them more. We don’t have to skip through a paragraph about what longeing is.

Why should authors be looking at e-publishing as the future for their novels?

Besides reaching a tighter and more passionate audience? The end of limited printings. Your ebook won’t be taken off the market because it didn’t become a smash hit in the first month. The shelves are infinite and the store is everywhere. It’s a win for everyone.

Do you think e-publishing works for all types of books or just for fiction?

I have all types of books on my Nook right now. Fiction, cookbooks, histories, memoirs. There aren’t any limitations. It’s the future.