If you enjoyed Susan Count’s Young Adult novel, Selah’s Sweet Dream, carry on reading to learn about where she found her love of horses and what inspired her to write.
“My grandmother was a librarian and she introduced me to The Black Stallion series. The imaginings began there. Play time became riding a stick horse everywhere. I made bits out of sticks and string and drove my sister – the carriage horse – around the yard.
I grew up an Army Brat and our wanderings took us to Hawaii. While my friends were at the beach, I was riding horses through the cane fields on the side of the mountains of Oahu.
I never had much in the way of formal riding lessons which accounts for my lack of grace in the saddle.
Having made no claims of expertise in any riding discipline, I hope that research keeps me from annoying those who would know. I love attending training clinics to observe knowledgeable trainers. What a blessing to have so many gifted horsemen available to us through social media. Lorenzo in South France and Stacy Westfall from Kentucky are a couple of my favorites.
I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with or observe many aspects of riding. From jumping an Open Jumper to vaulting to sidesaddle to driving to trail. Any opportunity to watch horses in motion takes precedence over all other things.
On Selah’s Sweet Dream:
Selah (pronounced Say-la), is found 71 times in the Book of Psalms. Selah is to pause, praise and consider the glory of God.
The book was written because of my desire to do something meaningful to bless my granddaughter. I wrote with no preconceived ideas about plot, characters or anything. Everyday, I read what I had written the day before and added onto that. No one could have been more astounded than I when it turned into a book. The whole process gave me great joy and continues to do so as I write not only the sequel, but Mary’s Song which is the story of Selah’s grandmother at twelve years old.
The horses in the story are a composite. One model was my thirty-three-year-old Missouri Foxtrotter mare. Because of her Arkansas breeding, she would fight a dragon if it invaded her pasture, but she adores and humbly submits to the little children. For my granddaughter’s 5th birthday, about a dozen children painted my mare with pink poster paint to the great delight of all involved. When they were done, some of the children took a ride on the golf cart and the mare chased after them. She wasn’t done being loved on.”
Praise for the novel:
“What a wonderful book! “Selah’s Sweet Dream” is such a fun and heartwarming book to read. The detail that is shared from a horse trainer’s perspective is so thorough. I felt like I was in the barn with Selah and Jordan. Reading the book brought back many memories of watching my own young daughter build a loving relationship with horses through the skillful direction of her riding instructor. There is nothing like the bond that is created between horse, young rider, and her riding mentor…and Susan Count captures this beautiful relationship perfectly.”
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