She gathered publishing-related experience in her roles as a magazine editor and publishing sales representative, as well as working in offset and digital printing. Tudor currently teaches writing workshops for adults and children, as well as developing writing contests and programming to motivate young writers.
Tudor loves reading, writing, and horseback riding, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Appaloosa Summer is now available in paperback through Amazon (link), and can also be purchased in the Kindle store (link).
Receiving messages from readers is one of Tudor’s favorite things, so please feel free to visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.
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About The Book
Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring. Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident. Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B. Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing. When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by summer’s end.
Appaloosa Summer can be compared to Heartland TV show - http://www.cbc.ca/heartland/
For More Information:
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads.
Sure! I have a more detailed description:
Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring.
Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident.
Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B.
Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing. When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by summer’s end.
Or, a very short description:
When Meg’s horse dies in the middle of a jumping course, she gives up showing, and moves to her family’s cottage for the summer, only to be guided back to the show ring by a scruffy appaloosa mare.
Why did you write your book?
It took a very long time to get my first book, Objects in Mirror, published. I finished the first draft in 2007, and the book wasn’t published until June 2013. That process involved lots, and lots of querying, pitching, writing, and re-writing along with huge stretches of waiting. If I hadn’t been working on Appaloosa Summer, the waiting would have been unbearable.
So, I wrote Appaloosa Summer to be able to keep moving forward with my writing while I waited for Objects in Mirror to be published, but I also wrote it because it was in my head – not at a conscious level, but deep in there somewhere – and I needed to get it out. There are about six more books in my head, and whenever I finish one it feels like two more take its place!
Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
Well, in Appaloosa Summer we meet Meg Traherne, who is a horse-loving city girl. She’s been happy with her life, but when her horse drops dead underneath her in the show ring she starts to re-evaluate everything, which leads to a big shake-up.
We also meet Meg’s friend, Slate, who I personally really like, and find quite funny, and would love to have as my sister, or best friend.
And then there’s Jared. Jared’s something special. Let’s just say I’m sitting here, smiling, just thinking about him …
There’s also a cast of supporting characters, all of whom I’m really invested in. Most will go forward in the trilogy, and one or two may take a larger role.
Those are some of the specifics about this book, however, during the editing process my editor gave me something to think about that’s changed how I approach and develop my characters forever. This is what she said:
“Most people believe themselves to be doing the right thing most of the time. It’s part of what makes us human. How do your antagonists believe themselves to be doing the right thing?”
We were specifically discussing antagonists, but I now consider this advice for all my characters. We all do things sometimes that make perfect sense to us, but can have bad consequences, or be seen unfavourably by others. It’s that underlying motivation that makes a character believable, and likable.
I try to always consider the above question when writing all my characters.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I definitely don’t consciously base my characters on real people, although I know elements of real people I’ve met work their way into my characters.
Due to my journalism background, I feel a big responsibility to be factually accurate, even when I’m writing fiction. So, I don’t tend to let myself twist the truth, or change things around, even if they don’t seem that important, and even if doing so would make the story much easier to write.
Because of that, I feel like my characters are one of the main things I’m free to run with, so I wouldn’t want them to have to be like somebody else (even if only in my head).
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?
I would say I’m consciously aware of the basic premise – using Appaloosa Summer as an example; a girl loses her horse, and moves to a rural island for the summer – but as to how the story unfolds, I feel like that becomes clear to me as I go.
It’s great to be asked this question right now, because Hugh Howey recently wrote a very interesting blog post about this very issue. The part of it that really rang true to me was this:
Ever had the feeling you were forgetting something as you left the house? You walk around, wracking your brain, trying to figure out what it is. Exhausting every option, you decide your intuition is wrong. It isn’t until you’re half an hour away from the house that the missing thing percolates up to the conscious level. This is writing. You know what happens next. The challenge is remembering.
Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
Absolutely! In Appaloosa Summer, in particular, I feel like the island is a character. The feedback I’ve been getting from readers all over the world is that they feel the same way, too.
In some ways, the ferry is also a character – not up front – but because of the limitations it places on other characters. The fact is, on an island, you can’t always get where you want to go exactly when you want to go there. This changes the way people act, and interact.
This book wouldn’t have been the same in a different setting.
Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
I don’t tend to suffer from writer’s block – mostly because I don’t ever get enough time to write. I write in fits and starts between all my other life activities, so when I get to write it’s a big relief and I want to take advantage of it.
I also find certain things tend to get my writing brain “unstuck”. Going for a run will always do it, and I’m usually conscious of working out plot problems while I run. Skiing or riding often help as well, but in those cases it’s usually more that my brain works away on writing problems in the background while my body is focused in the more immediate, physical activity.
What do you like the most about being an author?
It’s really hard for me to imagine being anything else, so I would say I like most parts of it. The writing is, obviously, pivotal. However, with Appaloosa Summer, I’ve also been able to make all my own business, sales, and promotion decisions, and I’ve really loved doing that. I also place a huge amount of value on the opportunity to get reader feedback – it’s so rewarding!
What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?
I think, likely, the moment you call yourself a “writer”. I remember the first time I wrote “Writer” in the space on the customs card where they ask for your occupation. A little part of me expected the customs officer to say “That’s cute, ma’am, but what are you really?” Instead, of course, he just waved me through, and ever since then it’s been easy to call myself a writer.
Since my first book was published I’ve tended to use “Author” instead, and that feels nice, too!
What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?
I’m not always sure I’m in a position to give advice – very often I read other writers’ work, and blogs, to see what they’re up to. However, for people who are just starting, I would say, you really need to finish something.
This may sound like silly, or obvious advice, but it’s something I used to struggle with. I used to have lots of projects in various stages of completion but nothing finished (I still do have all those projects but at least some are finished!).
You can’t let other people read your work, or get it published, or whatever it is your aim is, if you haven’t completed your project, and worked on it until you think it’s as good as you can make it.
After that, it’s your decision what path you follow. If you just want to share your words with friends and family, now you can do that. If you want to publish, you should probably consider getting feedback from a trusted source.
The main thing, though, is to complete your work to the best of your ability.