Tag Archives: horses

Author Interview: Audrey Coulthurst

I had an opportunity to speak recently with writer friend and colleague from the Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writer’s Workshop, Audrey Coulthurst, about her new two-book deal with HarperCollins. I also wanted to find a way to communicate with the public about how much Audrey likes horses, so hopefully by the end, her potential readers are clear on that.

Audrey wearing a unicorn mask in the foothills of LA

Not exactly a muse, but close.

Congratulations on your publication news with HarperCollins! What was your path to publication?

Thank you! My path to publication was fairly straightforward. After the first draft of A Hidden Affinity was complete I spent a long time finding critique partners and revising. As part of that I participated in the Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Retreat. Studying with Malinda Lo and having a group of very talented writers discuss my work was a true gift.

Once I felt the manuscript was as strong as it could be, I entered a couple of online contests and got some agent requests through those. Then I began to query in earnest, and then a few months later my fabulous agent pulled my query out of the slush and offered representation. We made some more revisions and then she sold the book.

I should probably note that while this whole process can be summed up in a few paragraphs, it took a very long time. The first draft of A Hidden Affinity was written in 2010. Read More…

Singing the Body Electric Fence

electric fence and horsesIt is an understatement to say I’ve spent quality time around horses. I hung out at Tara Stables in New Jersey as long after a riding lesson as I could; I’d go for 1- and 2-hour rides with friends in the forests around the Delaware River Valley, and twice I went to horse camp. Because once necessitated a sequel, I suppose. I learned how to ride horses in the Western and English styles, and I took a horse riding class in college as my one and only “fun” class in 120 credits of my undergraduate career. As a tween I drew horses for hours and collected small statues of the animals in the way that kids are strangely encouraged to identify hobbies.

I even helped a horse give birth when the colt was breech, because at 14 I had gangly sticks for arms, and the large animal veterinarian directed me on how to help the baby turn, which unsurprisingly, was a messy process.

I’ve washed horses, groomed horses, shoveled horse manure (which I used at one point in a practical joke against two Syracuse U. students who were trying to put one over on me), fed horses, baled hay, been kicked, thrown, stomped on (this is the value of steel toed boots), and entered riding contests. I know how to properly saddle a horse in both styles, and take off horse shoes. In addition to plain old riding, I have logged copious hours at the track and by the age of 7 I knew how to handicap thoroughbreds and read both betting and tip sheets (even though after a decade of playing the piano, I’m still pretty rough for reading music).

After all of this vast experience, it was entirely unexpected that in showing Emile his first up-close, real life horses, I would lean too close to the electrified fence wire and shock myself. Emile, two feet behind me and secure in his $300 stroller, looked at me quizzically. Read More…

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