Rewind to about ten years ago. I was in school and lived on my own, but had been staying with my parents for a few weeks because I had just gotten out of a long—and not particularly healthy—relationship. I had spent so much of my time and energy on that relationship that once I was on my own again, I had no idea what to do with myself. Hanging with my family, going to school, and reading were my only escapes. I was reading a ton of Nora Roberts books at the time, and she sort of became my hero. One of her books actually gave me an idea of what I wanted to do with my life at the time… And no, it wasn’t writing. Yet.
I had all kinds of ideas about what I would do next: go be a photographer on a cruise ship and travel the world, move to L.A. and try to be an actress, move to New York to do my art. Then I read True Betrayals by Nora Roberts, about a racehorse farm. I’d ridden a lot as a kid and I missed it a lot. It was one of those things that sort of fell by the wayside in the drama of high school. So I asked around, and found a trail ride barn that was willing to hire me and train me as a guide. I worked there for two years, and then at another barn for a year. I met so many great friends at that first barn, forever friends, and I also met my husband. We even got married in the same park where the stable was, so that we could ride away on our horses.
So the moral of Part 1 is: a book can change your life. In more ways than one. Be sure to check out Part 2 to learn how I got my start in writing!