Thanks for joining us today! Can you tell us a little bit about your new book?
Hi Jan, thanks so much for having me. A Horse Called Trouble is a tween horse story about a girl who must overcome her abusive past to save the defiant horse who taught her to love and trust again.
Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Tara Cummings has been passed from foster home to foster home; not wanted anywhere by anyone. At thirteen she’s skeptic and suspicious, with no family, and no friends.
Horse therapy “will teach trust, perseverance, respect, and the value of teamwork,” or so says the program’s instructor. Tara is unconvinced. Trust only broke her heart, perseverance meant more failures, and no one respects or wants to team up with the misfit foster kid.
At the farm, Tara meets Trouble, an angry and defiant horse, bent on destroying everything and everyone around him. Tara is frightened of the enraged horse, until she realizes Trouble is as misunderstood and untrusting as she is. Pushing aside her fear, a special bond is formed, much to the surprise of everyone at the farm. Trouble trusts Tara, and Tara in turn finds hope and acceptance as well as the will to love and trust again herself.
But, Tara’s confidence is shaken as an even greater challenge looms ahead. Trouble’s mean and manipulative owner is the one and only Alissa, Tara’s nemesis. Can Tara overcome her own limitations and fight to save the horse who freed her heart and gave her life value and meaning? Or will Alissa destroy them both?
Where did you get the idea for your book?
I have always loved horses. Such marvelous creatures they are. Proud, elegant, powerful yet gentle and compassionate. I was fortunate enough to be able to call several of these magnificent animals my friend and confidant as I grew up.
I knew I wanted to immortalize some of my treasured equine friends but I never expected to write the story of Trouble in such a fashion as I did. It was after visiting a horse farm that also entertained a horse therapy program for troubled youth that the story sky-rocketed. Tara came to life and shared her entire sad story with me and I couldn’t help but oblige and put it down on paper. And Trouble? He’s a mix of several of the horses I knew. Full of spunk, spirit, trust and devotion. It’s a horse story, full of conflict, with antagonists you’ll love seeing get what they deserve.
You mention horse therapy in this story. How did you research this?
Researching this type of Horse Therapy program was really interesting. I was fortunate to be able to spend time at Take Flight Farm and witness their Horse Therapy program for troubled youths first hand. It’s incredible what they do, utilizing the magnificent horses to teach kids the value of respect, teamwork and trust. I know from personal experience how a horse can turn an irritable, scowling teenager into a calm, caring softie. Horses can also build a person’s confidence…and who can’t use a good dose of self-confidence?
What message do you hope readers will take away from A Horse Called Trouble?
After reading my story, I hope my readers will understand the importance of believing in and standing up for oneself as well as following your dreams. Don’t let the traps of society rule you. You may only be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.
I also hope my readers learn to not judge others before they really get to know them. Too many times, society seems to judge a person for what they have or have not and not for who they are. I hope my readers will understand this and give everyone a chance before hastily judging them.
You also had another book come out last September called Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island. Can you tell us a little bit about this book?
Thanks for asking. Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island is a tween ghost story with a twist of Native American folklore and based on the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.
Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island
In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island without a trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil.
Now it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast that haunts the island.
With the help of newfound friend, Manny, a Native American shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what really happened. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, it's up to Jack to uncover what the evil is and why it haunts his island. But can he destroy it...before it destroys him?
Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island is now available in both e-book and print on Amazon.
What advice would you like to give to young people who want to write?
There are two important elements I would like to stress to young writers…
One - Believe in yourself. We are our own worst enemy. I still find times where I will doubt myself. I’ll read a really great book, one so good I can’t imagine my stories ever comparing. But that’s when my characters jump in and give me a good kick in the behind and remind me of one of my favorite quotes … To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. Your story might be the saving grace to one person out there. YOU have a story to tell and no one else can tell it for you. If you don’t write it, it won’t get written.
Two – Never give up! No matter what. Write, write, write and write some more. Put one story to bed and move onto another. Don’t let your muse shrivel up. She can cause you great distress if you don’t let her out to play and she will starve if you don’t feed her.
Where can readers find you?
Thanks so much for having me today. I’d love to have your readers contact me at ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.
They can also find me on Facebook (C.K. Volnek) or Twitter (CKVolnek), Good Reads and Jacket Flap.
My book trailers are on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyJ1J9wESEY
My books are available at the MuseItUp Book Store:
as well as Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Called-Trouble-C-Volnek/dp/0615572170/r...
and many other fine book locations on-line.
Thank you for joining us C.K. and sharing so much with us!
Thanks so much for having me here today, Jan.