This weekend's review features freelance writer, Anna Larson, and her memoir, The Horse That Haunts Dreams, a touching story of the life of her beloved horse, Hobo.
Here's my Review:
A story every horse enthusiast can relate to and love.
The horse that haunts dreams is a touching memoir about a young woman and the horse that she will never forget. Full of wonderful stories and memories of her beloved Hobo, Anna tells a wonderful tale that spans Hobo's life. Most horse enthusiasts have experienced the same one-of-a-kind bond that Anna describes, and reading her collection of memories brings our own journeys back to life in our hearts. Anna makes her journey with Hobo a compelling, humorous, and heart-touching read.
I would've liked to see it written more as a narrative than a memoir, as it jumped about a few times. Some of the stories could've been expanded and elaborated to make it sound less journalistic. But as it's written, it is still a solid 4 star read, partially due to it reminding me of my own unforgettable horse, a APHA gelding named Leroy. :)
Where to find Anna Larson:
Where you can find The Horse That Haunts Dreams:
w/the-horse-that-haunts- dreams-anna-larson/1120911435? ean=2940149907908
To elaborate: The memoir bounces back and forth from a narrative storyteller, to a more factual, journalistic approach. Both styles are fine, but personally, (as a fiction reader and writer) I prefer the more narrative style. By sticking with the storytelling instead of the reporting narration, Anna could have expanded on her and Hobo's stories quite a bit. The book itself could have doubled in size, if not more.
Still, I want to make it clear that I enjoyed reading it and since I am a horse-lover myself, I could really connect with Anna and her wonderful horse, Hobo.
Getting to know Anna Larson:
Anna Larson is a freelance writer and long time horse owner. She attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico and Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. She obtained her Bachelors of Science degree in Equine Science before enlisting in the U.S. Army as a veterinary technician. After leaving the Army she returned to New Mexico where she still lives with her partner and her horses.
A little more from Anna:
What inspired you to write your first book?
In 2007, a horse I'd owned since he was a baby, died at the age of 23. Shortly after that he started haunting my dreams. Every night I'd have this dream about another horse that was "in the dream", a reincarnation of my dead horse. Three months later, I found a baby horse that almost matched the descriptions in my dreams. I bought that foal and the next day the dreams stopped. It was the freakiest thing that's ever happened in my dreams or real life. The foal I bought was so much like my old horse, right down to being allergic to vaccinations, that it's scary. As for writing, that dream did start me on the writing path. I had no plans to be a writer before that, but I had to write that story down.
What books have most influenced your life?
Every book I've ever read has something to teach me. The truly badly written ones show me what not to do and the well written ones give me a guide for my own work. However the most influential book in my life I would have to say would be "Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West" by Marguerite Henry. Without that book I wouldn't have had my own Hobo.
If you had to pick only one, who would be your favorite author?
That's really tough to choose between my childhood favorite Marguerite Henry or my adult favorite Dick Francis.
If you could cast your main character(s) in a Hollywood adaption of your book, who would land the rolls?
That's a really hard one since it's difficult to cast a horse and a mule. As for me, I think Emma Watson in her short hair would most closely resemble a younger me.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first I wanted to be a truck driver, but my dad took me to the truck stop and one of his buddies let me look into the cab of the truck. I remember thinking I was way too tiny to ever grow big enough to drive a truck so I changed my mind and decided on being a jockey instead.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
I ride my horses, keep up the farm, garden, and crochet. I'm also an avid reader and spend a part of every day with "my nose in a book" as my mom likes to say.
What is one tip you'd give to up & coming authors?
Make sure to get an editor. No matter what, you will need an editor. Even with an editor, mistakes will happen. You can minimize your mistakes and your negative reviews by making sure your work is as mistake free as possible. I run my manuscript through beta readers, an editor and then I convert it to a kindle format and have my kindle text to speech read the text back. It's amazing what mistakes, awkward sentences and so forth you will find by listening to the story read back. Having the text to speech option keeps your eyes from playing tricks with your mind. You hear the mistakes instead of the eyes skipping over them.
If you could spend the day with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I'm a huge fan of horse racing and I used to work at several race tracks, but I wasn't old enough to have been around the famous Bill Shoemaker when he was in his riding prime. I watched as many races as were televised way back when was a kid. I always idolized the man and his riding skills.
What's next for you?
I'm debating between Equine Fantasy of some type or a western revolving around a horse, but nothing solid yet.
A big thanks to Anna Larson for being such an 'open book', no pun intended! Your tip on the Kindle text speech is brilliant! :)