Saturday, June 8, 2013

Featured Author: Christine Meunier

I'm welcoming Christine Meunier here today to tell us about her novel, Horse Country, a new adult work of fiction, set in Australia. Horse Country will be available in hard copy and eBook on July 1. Check Christine's website for updates.

About the book:

Christine Meunier has lived a life breathing, dreaming and working with horses in the thoroughbred industry in Australia and has also traveled overseas to work in the industry. Horse Country takes her own personal experiences woven into a story about four young women studying and working in the horse industry.

Follow Lise and Wes as they work their way around North East Victoria, Australia in the seasonal world of breeding thoroughbreds. Horse Country follows the seasons of the thoroughbred industry and what the day to day of working on a stud could look like.

A few hours away, Maddie and Melanie are working hard in their parent’s metropolitan riding school, teaching others about horse riding and care of the horse. From the nervous first time rider, to the child who wants to run fast and jump high, the young women shape lessons to suit the individual.

Horses offer a great opportunity to study, learn, work and develop an incredible career around the world. Set in Australia, this novel shows that the land down under is indeed a Horse Country.

Interview with Christine Meunier:

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I love to write and have been creating stories for 15 or so years. However, this is my first novel that I have published.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Absolutely! I teach about horses at a tertiary level in Australia, generally about the breeding of horses.

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

Hmmm a bit of all three. Events occur or things are said that help me to establish characters and from here an outline is generated for future chapters. Then the characters take over!

Did you have any say in your cover art?

Yes. I was encouraged by my mother to get it done professionally and filled in a questionnaire from the designer of what I wanted. The cover photo is actually one I took whilst working on a stud. I’m rapt with what’s been designed.

What books have you read more than once or want to read again?

The Silver Brumby is my all time favourite that I could read over and again.

Tell us a book you’re an evangelist for.

The Bible. It’s got it all – romance, suspense, murder, good defeating evil and an incredible story of love.

What do you do to market your book?

I’m working on that currently, having created a personal .com website and Facebook page for the book, telling many I meet about the book, inviting friends to like the Facebook page, blogging regularly on the .com site and taking part in author features or interviews on other blogs.

When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

Not at all. Horse Country actually has four main characters which I hadn’t originally anticipated. There are some other minor but consistent roles that managed to make their way into the cast too.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I think Declan. Each of the four women have a little bit of me in them (though Maddie is the outspoken character that I at times wish I had the confidence to be!). But I love Declan’s laid back and amused outlook on life.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?  

Yes. I’d say that Wes most mirrors myself with regards to her walk in life and introduction to the world of breeding horses.

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck on a deserted island?

Lise – she’s resourceful and levelheaded.

Who are your favorite authors?

Elyne Mitchell, Francine Rivers, and Dick Francis.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I tend to have many on the go at once! So, paperbacks: the Bible and Elyne Mitchell A Daughter Remembers by Honor Auchinleck and ebook: Murder is Ugly by Price McNaughton.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

"Those who follow the crowd get lost in it."--Rick Warren

About the author:

Christine Meunier considers herself introduced to the wonderful world of horses at the late age of 13 when her parents agreed to lease a horse for her. She started experiencing horses via books from a young age and continues to do so, but recognises that horses cannot be learnt solely from books.

She has been studying horses from age 16, starting with the Certificate II in Horse Studies and is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Equine Science via distance education.

Christine has worked at numerous thoroughbred studs in Australia as well as overseas in Ireland for a breeding season.

She then gained experience in a couple of Melbourne based horse riding schools, instructing at a basic level before heading off overseas again, this time to South Africa to spend hours in the saddle of endurance and trail horses on the Wild Coast.

Particularly passionate about the world of breeding horses, she teaches equine studies focused on breeding, at a TAFE, Victoria, Australia.

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