Welcome, Rebecca, give us the back-cover copy for this book that I would have loved to read growing up. (Okay, still would.)
Girls love horses! Horsewoman Rebecca Ondov invites tweens (ages 8 to 12) to enjoy these true horse stories that will help them build confidence in God’s love, make wiser choices, and create stronger friendships, as well as encounter life-changing truths that will help them grow strong spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
Wow – what a great introduction. What inspired you to write this book?
My heart aches for the generation of children that are being raised today. So often, through the media and culture, kids get the impression that they have no value. When in reality they are a one-of-a-kind treasure created by God Himself. My goal with this book is to help them see themselves as a priceless gift from God.
Did anything surprise you during your research or writing?
It amazes me how God uses our whole life when we write. Years before I ever imagined this book, I was a director of a crisis pregnancy center and was fascinated with the research of how babies, while still in the womb, would interact with their parents—and even play games. I wondered if the same would be true in animals. A decade later, when I bred one of my mares, I ran an experiment. I chatted with the foal, while still in the womb, and sang a song to her nearly every day. And she responded to me! These stories are included in this book and they delight the girls.
What a wonderful discovery! Was it equaled by any challenges?
It was an emotional rollercoaster because of everything that came against me. At the time I signed the contract to write the book, my elderly mother’s health had been failing for a few years. In addition to working a regular job, I was traveling the 1,400 miles back and forth to help Dad and Mom because they didn’t have any family close by where they lived. A couple weeks after I signed the contract, Mom’s health spiraled downward.
Over the next few months I balanced my regular job, writing, and helped coordinate resources for and traveled to my folks’. A couple months later, when Mom moved to heaven, I helped plan her funeral while my grieving eighty-eight-year-old father said goodbye to his life-partner of sixty-two and a half years. It weighed on me that now he was alone in his home—1,400 miles away—and that I’d never have another chance to get a hug or an “I love you” from my precious mom.
Then two weeks before my manuscript was due, a mule, whom I had bottle-fed as a baby and had owned over thirty years, blew out her knee. And one of my mares, who had had severe joint problems for years, was in horrible, constant pain with no chance of recovery. I buried them both the same day.
With a shattered heart, I turned in the manuscript on time.
What a hard, hard time for you. Was there any scene or section in the book that seemed to encourage you?
The story “Door Knobs” about when the foal in the womb actually stuck her feet into the mare’s flank so hard that they formed “door knobs”—because she wanted the children, who were with me, to pet her. It was a miracle. All those kids got to interact with the baby mule while she was still in the womb!
Do you have themes you return to again and again in your writing?
How God desires a personal and intimate relationship with each of us because He loves us so much.
In light of that, has becoming a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
I’m an oddity. I never wanted to write, but God called me to do just that. So the mere act of writing is a faith-builder accompanied by prayers that go something like, “God, I can’t do this without you. Please give me the words that You want me to say.”
That sounds like the perfect prayer for all writers. What would be your perfect writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
I just finished building a cottage on my little farm and I designed my office in the loft with views of the Sapphire Mountain Range in Montana.
Do you still have a full-time or “day job?”
Yes, by day I broker lumber, which is an intense 100% commission sales job.
Does it influence what or how you write?
Because of its intensity, I’ve honed my ability to communicate in a very different way.
What about a favorite library memory?
When I was in grade school the librarian would try to get me to read. But it wasn’t nearly as much fun to read myself as it was to listen to my mother read stories in such a way that the book became like a movie and I experienced every word. Finally after the librarian discovered my interests, she pressed me to check out a mystery book. Before I left primary school, I’d read every single mystery in the library.
Do you have hobbies, activities, or passions outside of writing?
Horseback riding, kayaking, and hiking put me on top of the world.
With that exciting list of outdoor activities, we’ll sign off for this week’s author interview.
If you would like to know more about Rebecca Ondov and her books, visit Rebecca’s website.
May all that you read be uplifting.