Today's guest is HL Carpenter, which is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes of flying horses and other fabulous creatures from their home in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Their multi-genre collaborative work includes mysteries, short stories, essays, and non-fiction articles, and is featured in the bi-monthly newsletter Top Drawer Ink. Their most recent book is The SkyHorse, a young adult e-novel published by Musa Publishing. Their home on the web is www.TopDrawerInkCorp.com.
Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck - until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.
When fourteen year old Tovi Taggert moves to Honeysuckle Hollow to take care of her grandmother, she has a hard time fitting in. For one thing, she’s been tagged with the hated nickname Too-Tall Tovi. For another, everyone at Honeysuckle Hollow High believes Tovi played the Choking Game with someone else’s boyfriend – and made out with him besides.
As if she doesn’t have enough problems, after the latest standoff in the school hallway, Tovi finds a gorgeous speckled egg nestled in a feather lined nest.
She takes the egg home – and mysterious visitors begin appearing almost immediately. Even more worrisome, whatever is inside the egg starts chipping its way out.
When the egg hatches, revealing a winged horse, Tovi’s troubles multiply.
As she struggles to return the horse to the magical land where he belongs, Tovi must make a courageous decision – and accept what that decision will cost her.
Read an excerpt of The SkyHorse at www.TopDrawerInkCorp.com.
What inspired you to write this story?
Old friends - that is, the extraordinary horses we’ve lived with and loved over the years. The Carpenter Country pasture is empty at the moment, though we swear we still hear hoofbeats on moonless nights.
How long did it take you to write The SkyHorse?
The entire lifespan of a winged horse. Or some such length of time. It’s hard to say exactly because we’re not sure when to start the counting. Is it considered the beginning when we spot an interesting poem, picture, or quote - the kind that calls out for more consideration? Or is the beginning sometime later, when the first word appears on the computer screen? Deciding when the story is done is a problem, too, because the characters are still with us, even after the book is in “finished” form.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
We have to pick just one? You’re tough...well, if you insist. Writing with a partner is our favorite thing. Sharing words and ideas with someone who is so deeply into the same story is a great way to write.
What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Discovering - after a country mile of work - that the story should have taken a different direction way back, at that dusty fork in the trail. The discovery leads to revising or replacing huge chunks of the story, which we hate to do, because we’re always in love with our words.
If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
We’d pick the fabulous duo of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Trigger and Buttermilk - need we say more? Hum along with us ... happy trails to you ... it’s the way you ride the trail that counts ...
What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Mold? We're too busy writing to clean. (Kidding...we think...wait a minute, back in a flash). Okay, we checked. No furry green stuff in there. There is a carrot of uncertain provenance...
What can readers expect from you in the future?
Books, books, and more books. We’ve recently finished the first draft of another young adult novel, and we have three other finished manuscripts cooling off and waiting for revision. We also have a cozy mystery for adult readers that’s in the final stage of revisions, and three completed novellas featuring the same character. We love writing stories!
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about The SkyHorse, and about writing in general. It’s been a pleasure! (Thank you for stopping by!)