Horse skills serves book author well in the publishing world

Hi, my name is Killarney Sheffield. Some of you might know me as a former natural horsemanship trainer, barefoot farrier or riding coach and breeder of Appendix horses. I suppose I am still that person deep down inside and yes, I still breed a few horses and mess around in the equine world, but things changed for me a few years ago. It all started innocently enough.

One day I was doing my, as my husband calls, it ‘horse thing’ and the next day I was sitting at the doctor’s office learning I had cervical cancer. The big ‘C’ word strikes fear in all us women, doesn’t it? I thought my world was falling apart. During this time I was writing the odd article for a local newspaper. The editor called me up one day asking for an article on horse slaughter in Canada and the effects of the flood of American horses on the Canadian market. He mentioned he loved my articles because he felt they were well written and needed little editing. That was a great boost to my flailing ego. He went on to say that I should write a novel one day, it’d be sure to get published.

Killarney Sheffield - Book Author
Killarney Sheffield – Book Author

I of course laughed and joked that I had three manuscripts in my computer that would never see the light of day, or a publisher for that matter, but his comment got me thinking. I scouted out a few writing and critique sites and lurked for a while just absorbing info. Finally one day I got up the courage to send one of my novels to five publishers, two big publishers and three smaller ones. Imagine my surprise when the three smaller houses loved my book.

I have since learned that big publishers shy away from new authors. Anyway, next thing I knew I was launched into the big scary world of publishing. And let me tell you, riding a bucking horse is less frightening some days! I thought I had good PR skills, after all you have to be good with people to coach clinics, sell horses and deal with owners of horses you train.

Through Gypsy Eyes - Book by Killarney Sheffield
Through Gypsy Eyes – Book by Killarney Sheffield

I was wrong!

You need a special set of skills to be able to speak to a room of thousands of people at book signings and conferences, and, you have to be able not to faint! The funny thing is though, my horse skills have served me well in the publishing world. I use them to deal with pushy editors, excited fans and even the odd nasty reviewer. Those skills you use every day with horses, like the ability to adapt your training methods, try new things, patience and persistence are the cornerstone to surviving in the world of books. And, yes, sometimes even the ability to speak softly and pat a head works too!

Horses will always be a huge part of who I am, and the odd one even makes it into one of my historical romantic adventures once in a while, because, well, I am a horse woman at heart.

Thank you so much for having me here today, and thank you all for lending an ear. If you’re curious as to how horses edge their way into my romances a good example is my recent Crimson Romance release ‘Through Gypsy Eyes’. It is the tale of a blind woman and her guide pony named Jester.

Guess article by Killarney Sheffield

Free chapters are available on Amazon of all of Killarney’s books! She also gives away one free book per promotion!

Feel free to follow her on FaceBook under Author Killarney Sheffield  or on Twitter @authorkillarney
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