Today’s guest blogger Mary Kit Caelsto tells us what prompted her to write a new series…
In the equestrian world there’s a saying: throw your heart over the jump and the horse will follow. It’s a belief I took into my new-to-me genre equestrian women’s literature. Writing and publishing isn’t new to me. I’ve been published since December 2002 and most of my publications have been in the romance field under a few pen names. But what I really wanted to write were horse stories for horse crazy girls who grew up. Like me.
To do so, I had to start over. Not completely, because I was still writing romance and I knew what I needed in terms of social media and a web presence. I self-publish and have since 2007, so that wasn’t new to me either. What was new were the stories and their content.
I started writing, knowing I’d have to push thoughts of sales and marketing aside. If I thought about how these books weren’t sexy and were more women’s fiction than romance, I’d get caught up in the “Why bother? They won’t sell.” fears and the stories would never get written. No, I had to simply write the books. It was an experiment. I’d see what happened.
Once I did that, I found out I loved them even more than I thought I would. Once I published them and started finding an audience of thirty and forty-something equestrians who never grew out of being “horse crazy”, well readers are enjoying the books as well. Importantly, they’re selling!
If I hadn’t had the courage to make the leap, I know for a fact that those stories still wouldn’t be told. My love of good horse stories, now featuring characters like myself, a woman in her early forties trying to deal with her horse dreams and the rest of her life, wouldn’t have taken me to a place where I could honestly see myself writing the books I’ve longed to read. So what did it take to do this?
First, I needed to release all expectations. All of them. Whatever happened, happened, and I had to promise myself that I’d be okay with that.
Next, I had to write the books. I put the first three out over the course of three months, setting up pre-orders and giving myself strict deadlines. The fourth will release this summer. I have ten planned in this series, and two more series started or in the planning stages.
And finally, I had to give myself permission to write just for me. It was okay if only I enjoyed these stories, if they were only going to be read by me.
When I did these things, the books wrote themselves, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. May you have the courage to follow your heart and write what you love—even if it isn’t where you’re published or thinking about being published now.
Mary Kit Caelsto lives in the Ozarks along the Missouri/Arkansas border with her four very spoiled horses, a large mixed flock of chickens, geese, ducks, and guineas, enough cats to qualify me to be a crazy cat lady, and a loving husband who tolerates it all.
She grew up a horse crazy girl and sold Girl Scout cookies to finance her way through four years of horse camp. Then, she cleaned stalls and worked in exchange for lessons, even starting a college degree in equine science. A bad fall changed her goals, and while she still doesn’t ride, her horses are well loved pasture ornaments, and she writes about characters who tackle the courses and the classes she used to dream about.
She’s an Independent Jamberry Consultant, because she loves pretty nails that stand up to barn chores, and works in the IT industry as a technical virtual assistant and editor for other authors.