Today, I'm super excited to welcome debut YA author, Jennifer H. Lyne to the blog to promote her brand new book, Catch Rider, which was released by Clarion Books on June 4, 2013. I actually reviewed the book today, too, and you can view the review HERE.The beautiful thing about Catch Rider is that it's less of a book about horses and more of a book about horse people. Jennifer took some time out of her busy day to answer a few of my questions about the book and some of her inspirations. Plus, be sure to keep reading for a giveaway of this great book!
1. In Catch Rider, you immerse the reader in what might otherwise been an unfamiliar world of horses and horseback riding. What sort of research did you have to do to make the story feel this authentic for the reader?
I grew up around horses, so most of the things I wrote about I already knew, but I did research to confirm them. One is example is Sid pulling the tooth out of the horse’s mouth. My friend Sandi Hooper Melnyk who lives in Ashland, Virginia, pulled a horse’s tooth that way when I was at the barn with her. I don’t remember what tools she used, but I do remember her squirting water from a plastic bike bottle in the horse’s mouth afterward, which still makes me laugh. In other cases, I had to go back and research. I didn’t show in the Maclay competition, so I did some reading on what kinds of courses they use, what the course requirements are, etc. I like doing research a lot, and I didn’t want horse people to read the book and find inaccuracies. I’m sure there are some in there, but I did my best.
2. Sid has a bit of a tough edge to her that can be misconstrued as cockiness. How did you balance her naivety with her resilient personality to ultimately make her likeable for readers?
Sid acts cocky, but people who do that are insecure. That behavior can hide deep uncertainty and fear of abandonment. I took the chance that some readers would not get this, or that they would get it and be turned off anyway. When I was trying to sell this story as a script in Hollywood, I was told that she was not likeable enough, and that I should make her more of an Everygirl protagonist, but I made the calculated decision to reject that advice. At some point, as a writer, you have to decide for yourself why you’re doing it in the first place, and what you want to say. Are you doing it to please people and make money, or are you doing it because you like to deal with reality, which is complicated.
3. What made you decide to use the first person point of view for Catch Rider?
I decided to use the first person after I had written 60 pages in third person, sold the book and was trying to finish it. I was having trouble feeling connected, like it was too forced, and the extra effort was not helping the story. So, I wrote it as though she was doing a long diary entry, and then the writing became really fun.
4. If you could describe Catch Rider in just five words, what would those words be?
Rocky wakes up in Covington.
5. Catch Rider wraps up very quickly and neatly at the end. Can readers hope to hear more from Sid's story? Why, or why not?
I wrapped it up more quickly than my editor would have liked. I like it when a movie ends and I’m staring at the screen thinking, “What?! That’s it?” Did you ever see the movie All the President’s Men? It’s before our time, but everyone should watch it. The director chopped of the entire third act! It’s kind of awesome. To answer your question, I’m not done with Sid, and there are going to be some surprises.
And now...the giveaway! I'm offering up my ARC of Catch Rider to spread the word (and the fanfare) about this book. This giveaway is open internationally, and will end one week from today. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter to enter!