About the book
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: M.J. EVANS, author of PINTO! And IN THE HEART OF A MUSTANG
Hello and Welcome to the My Reading Journey.
Before we get into the books here's a few easy questions I hope they are easy!
What is your favorite snack to munch on while reading or writing?
Hot Chocolate with whipping cream…I’m drinking one right now!
Chocolate nuts yes or no?
No…I prefer fruity desserts.
Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Milk if it has to be chocolate.
When you travel is there a favorite place you like to stop and eat? Do you have hobby that you like to source when you travel?
I’m not a fast food fan. I like to seek out the local favorites. We look up restaurants on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” for recommendations.
I am enjoying Pinto you did so much research do you have any idea how many hours you spent researching?
I didn’t keep track of the hours, but it was hundreds. I worked on it for two and a half years!
What/where was the coolest place you visited while researching? The best place was a little history museum on Bainbridge Island, WA. After my experience just showing up in Oklahoma City and finding out that even the research librarian was not aware of the collection they had stored in the basement, I decided it best to call ahead. The curator at the Bainbridge Island museum was so excited that I was coming. They have a permanent exhibit on the Overland Westerners and a driftwood sculpture of Pinto outside. When I got there, they were ready for me. They had set up a table with a computer for me to use. They had the old journals out for me to read. They had boxes of files stuffed with information. They even provided a volunteer to help make photocopies and put files on a flash drive. One of the curators gave me a tour of their display.
What is your favorite part research or actual writing?
In the case of Pinto I must say “the research.” It was amazing reading all those journals and living through the trip with them. The journals contained information that isn’t in the book because I only included the events that involved the horses. So, I know much more about the men than I was able to put in the book. With my non-fiction trail guidebooks for equestrians titled “Riding Colorado,” it would be the research as well. I love riding on the trails in the Colorado Mountains. With my other books, I would say the writing. It is fun to get the stories out of my head and onto the paper. (Actually, it’s onto the screen!)
If you could go(watch) to any Equestrian event which one would you go to and why?
The OLYMPICS! How awesome would it be to watch the Dressage and Jumping at the Olympics! I did get to attend the World Equestrian Games in 2004. I was in heaven (except it was in Las Vegas which is probably the opposite of heaven!) What Equestrian event/discipline that you have not participated in would want to learn? I grew up competing in 3-Day Eventing. Now I only jump for fun and I focus on Dressage. However, one discipline that I think would be fun, though I have never tried it, would be side-saddle. It looks so elegant. I live in Parker, Colorado…one of the “horse-towns USA.” We have nearly every discipline here. However, side-saddle is one we do not have.
How many horse books do you have on your shelf?
Some of you will be jealous to know that I have a collection, nearly complete, of first edition books by Marguerite Henry! I grew up reading and re-reading “Gone With the Wind,” “Black Gold,” “Misty,” and “Born to Trot,” among others. Of course, I have a few copies of “Black Beauty,” my inspiration for the voice in “Pinto!” “The Black Stallion” and “My Friend Flicka” are there, too. I have several fiction titles by current authors that I have met at events like the “Equus Film and Arts Festival.” Along with the fiction, I have dozens of non-fiction books like “The Horseman’s Encyclopedia,” “Classical Dressage,” “Dressage for the Not So Perfect Horse,” and many, many more. I have a library at my house and two of the shelves are nothing but horse books!
I am glad you are touring with I Read Book Tours. What is your favorite part of being on tour?
Getting to do author interviews like this. When I am home, alone, just writing, it is easy to wonder if anyone will even read my work. It is fun to communicate with a real person.
Where can readers find you? Book signings? Signing at events?
In an ordinary year, I attend dozens of events. These include school visits, book clubs, book festivals, book award ceremonies, holiday gift fairs, and author conferences. I always sign books at the National Western Stock Show in January in Denver to give you one example. I keep a list of these events on my website: www.dancinghorsepress.com. I love going to events and meeting readers, especially young readers. However, this year has been so sad as, one by one, all of my scheduled events have been canceled and no new ones have been added. The last event I attended was way back on February 28th when I signed books at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. Oh…one of the book clubs that I was supposed to visit had me do so on zoom so I guess that sort of counts. It’s not the same, though.
Can you share with the readers what you are working on?
I am holding my breath awaiting the print proof of my new book: “Mr. Figgletoes’ Toy Emporium.” It is a fantasy for middle-grade set in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Yes, I went there. The story is a combination of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and the biblical story of Abraham negotiating with the Lord to save Sodom. Here is the cover:
Thanks for the fun questions!
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