...for readers who love animals, and animal lovers who read!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Author Interview: "Horse Crazy" J.A. Campbell

Tell us a little about your background

It all started with a self-illustrated picture book about a bookworm named Willie when I was just learning to write. I graduated to Nancy Drew style mysteries in elementary school and moved to fantasy and sci fi in middle school and high school. From there I went to college and got a BS in Equine Science, never suspecting that I’d be an author one day...despite the previous evidence. At some point the bug bit me though, and I decided that writing was the life for me. While I have a day job, I now write fantasy books about horses (and dogs) and ride my own, an Arabian mare named Triska. We’re usually accompanied by my other inspiration, my Border Collie, Kira.

Tell us a bit about your latest book

Sabaska’s Tale is partially a biography of my late Arabian Mare, Sabaska, and part YA fantasy about a girl who travels to other worlds on very special horses called Travelers and has epic adventures.

Sabaska inspired this story a long time ago and I finally saw print last summer. I like to think that a lot of her personality came out in the novel.

Are any of the other characters based on real animals or people?

In Sabaska’s Tale the main equine character, Sabaska, is directly based off of my late mare, Sabaska. I’ll tell you more about her in a bit, but she was an incredible horse.

I based, directly again, another equine character off of my current mare, Triska in the sequel to Sabaska’s Tale and she’ll have an even bigger role in the third book.

I have a short story series about a  ghost hunting Border Collie named Brown, and I based her off of my BC, Kira. As you can see a lot of my animals make it into my writing.

What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

Currently I’m working on edits for Sabaska’s Quest, due out in the fall, a Brown, Ghost Hunting Dog short story, A Doc, Vampire Hunting Dog novel and edits for the steampunk magazine I’m the editor for. I never seem to manage to work on one project on a time, but I enjoy the diversity. Next I’ll be working on Saga’s Journey which is a prequel to Sabaska’s Tale.

What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

During the work week I usually work an hour or two before I go to my day job. On the weekends I could work anywhere from a few hours to the entire day, and I’m talking like, almost every waking moment. However, I always have to make time for Triska and Kira, but it’s a good way to take a break from the computer. So, basically I work about 20+ hours a week on writing, plus a full time job, plus I have a Border Collie to entertain. It’s a busy, but good, life.

Tell us about your pets, or other animals that inspire you.

Sabaska was my first horse, though I’ve been riding my whole life. I trained her and we used to do endurance racing. She loved to camp and trail ride and basically do just about anything. She inspired many of my stories, and the two poems I’ve ever written. We had fabulous adventures together, trail riding in the Rocky Mountains. I lost her to colic, Oct 2012 and I still miss her terribly, but I got to be with her at the end.

Triska, my current horse is a rescue from Montana. She’s a great little Arab mare with spunk. She’s very smart, and she’s shaping up to be an awesome trail horse. She’s steady and learning to trust me and we have a great time together.

Kira is my Border Collie. They aren’t for the faint of heart, but they’re wonderful companions. We herd sheep, trail ride, hike, play fetch, swim, camp, and do just about everything together. She’s inspired my vampire and ghost hunting dog stories with that Border Collie Eye of hers. If a dog can herd sheep, why not ghosts.

J.A. Campbell has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult urban fantasy series The Clanless. She’s the editor of Steampunk Trails fiction magazine and a member of both the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association of America. 
Find out more about Julie at  www.writerjacampbell.com  and follow her on twitter @Pfirewolf
 Website: www.writerjacampbell.com                                                       
Blogs: http://writerjacampbell.wordpress.com/blog/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/J.A.Campbell.Author