Me at 12 years old, running the poles event at a gymkhana show with my Appaloosa pony, Frosty
All right, everyone. Do me a favor and, before we go any further, run and get your cowboy hats on. Then shrug on your cowboy boots. And prepare a good old holler: WHOOPAH!
First: This whole thing came about because of a story I told on Twitter about a horse I loved as a girl. When my friend Amber Keyser heard I’d grown up a cowgirl, she approached me about a possible opportunity for a series of horse books, aimed at the middle-grade age range.
Then we started dreaming. We dreamed and dreamed and had this really wild Vulcan-esque mind meld, where suddenly the perfect idea came to us.
And so SECOND CHANCE RANCH was born—a place for troubled kids to find themselves with the help of a horse. The series is set on a cattle ranch in the mountains of my home state, Colorado, and based loosely on a cattle ranch owned by Amber’s relatives (also in Colorado). It draws on a lot of the things we loved about horse books as youngsters ourselves—the child helping the horse, and the horse helping the child; the magic of learning to ride for the first time; and the deep relationships we form with animals.
Second: Here is the announcement in Publisher’s Marketplace!
So, after giving birth to this crazy idea, we handed it over to Amber’s agent, Fiona Kenshole, at Transatlantic Literary Agency.
And she loved it.
She asked us to write some sample chapters right away for two of our proposed books in the series. Though we dreamed up this world together, we each took control of one story—my debut in the series will be SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY, and Amber’s PUSHOVER AND PRINCE.
Third: Since then, I have signed with Fiona as my agent, and I couldn’t be happier! Fiona has done a fantastic job helping us hone our proposal for the series and negotiating our 4-book deal with Andrew Karre at Darby Creek, an imprint of Lerner Books.
The books are scheduled to release twice a year beginning in Spring 2016. I’m so excited to be working with the folks over at Darby Creek and, of course, my great friend and truly talented co-author Amber!
(Seriously, you guys don’t even know how awesome this woman is. I am pretty much the luckiest girl on the planet.)
And that’s it for today, my friends. It’s time for me to go eat some celebratory sushi!