Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Interview with Linda Benson

on December 5, 2011

Today, I’m excited to have Linda Benson on the blog! Linda’s newly published young adult novel, THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES is available as an eBook, from Musa Publishing’s brand new YA Imprint called Euterpe. It’s available in all eBook formats – PDF, ePUB, Mobi, PRC.

THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES is also available from major online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble,and Smashwords.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book, THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES?   

It’s a speculative fiction story set several generations in the future, when the world has forgotten the ancient bond between horses and humans, and few people have even seen a horse.  But one girl, named Sahara, dreams of magnificent creatures that run like the wind. Can her dreams help people remember?

THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES is a great animal story, with horses, dogs, and goats.  But it’s also a book about humans and culture. How would we survive in the future where most of what we know today is gone? How important would it be to hold on to things from the past?

Where did you get the idea for this story?

It was partially inspired by a college research project I completed involving women and their passion for horses. Why do some women love horses so much, and where does that inclination come from? Also, as a life-long horsewoman, I noticed many horses standing in pastures with no one riding them. As we become a more urban society, fewer people actually have knowledge of horses – how to train them, ride them, use them. What if society totally forgot these things? And there have been many natural disasters lately that make us realize that something could change the world as we know it completely, where we might forget much of our former knowledge. If that happened, would there be anyone left that remembered horses?

What was the most challenging part of writing THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES? How did you work through those challenges?

The hardest part for me was world-building. My other novels, THE HORSE JAR, FINDING CHANCE, and SIX DEGREES OF LOST (with a release date of June, 2012) are contemporary fiction. The writing challenge there is only to think about the story and the characters, as the setting details are already well-known. In THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES I had to not only imagine, but describe a barren landscape with no water or power, where great dust storm had covered cities and towns after a huge apocalyptic event. How did people survive? How did they travel?

To get ideas on how other writers accomplished this I actually immersed myself in reading YA dystopian novels for awhile, as well as a great non-fiction book called The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman.

I noticed that you blog for Equestrian Ink. Can you tell us a little bit about this blog?

Equestrian Ink  is a community blog of published authors/writers who are also horse people. We blog about all kinds of things, from writing to books to horses to anything equine related. It’s built up quite a following – apparently there are lots of horse people who also like to read!

Can you tell us what authors have influenced your writing?

Oh gosh, that probably requires a long answer. I grew up reading everything from John Steinbeck to Marguerite Henry, from Jack London to Albert Payson Terhune to Margaret Mitchell and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

More recently, I’ve been influenced by great children’s writers such as Kate DiCamillo, Kathi Appelt, Katherine Paterson, Marion Dane Bauer, and even Jerry Spinelli and Gary Paulsen. And let’s not forget E.B. White. I highly admire authors who can write a novel for young people with just the right words that say so much. It’s an amazing skill I am still trying to learn.

 What would you tell a young reader who wants to be a writer?

Keep a journal – it’s amazing to look back and see where you’ve been. Believe in yourself, and your own voice. Your story matters, and you are the only one who can write it. Keep learning, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

And finally, where can readers find you?

THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES has its own Facebook page: http://facebook.com/Girl.Remembered.Horses.LindaBenson

You can find out more about me at my website: http://www.lindabenson.net

I also blog: http://www.lindabenson.blogspot.com

I’m on Twitter @LinBenson:  http://twitter.com/LinBenson

And you can friend me on Goodreads to see what I’ve been reading: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3421565.Linda_Benson

Thanks so much Linda!

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8 responses to “Interview with Linda Benson

  1. Very nice interview, and it sounds like a really interesting story. And I like the fact that you have dedicated a Facebook page to it. Great idea. Good luck with it.

  2. Amaleen Ison says:

    Brilliant interview. Great questions, great answers. You’ll have a lot of success with this book, Linda, I’m sure.

  3. Vonnie says:

    Particularly impressed with your advice to young adults who want to write to keep a journal, Linda. So useful. Neat idea. (Also helps to offload the natural angst too)! Your world-building skills must be well developed by now after such a mammoth task to ascertain how humans (and whatever else we become) might perceive horses (and other things) in the future.

  4. Linda Benson says:

    Thanks for reading this interview, and thanks so much for hosting me, Mindy! My journal (where I also write down ideas for stories as they come to me) came in handy for this story. Flipping back through the pages, I was able to pinpoint the exact date six years ago when I first had the glimmer of an idea for this book (and even wrote down the title.) That was fun!

  5. Kathy says:

    I like dystopian YA as a genre, but this book kind of goes above and beyond that regular genre. I guess I found it to be about the drive for…I don’t know, beauty? graciousness? gentleness?…in the midst of the harsh realities of survival. No matter how focused we are on just getting by, there’s a part of the human spirit that wants more than that. That struggle was seen in the conflict between Sahara and Dojo, and the “more” came in the form of the horses Sahara finds. This is one of my favorite books.

  6. Mindy says:

    @Kathy–This is a great review of THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES. Maybe post on Amazon? Goodreads?

  7. […] I interviewed Linda Benson about The Girl Who Remembered Horses in December, and you can read that interview here. […]

  8. […] very happy to host YA author, Linda Benson. Linda is a fellow Musa author and she first appeared on this blog talking about her book, THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED […]

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