MS: Definitely a horse because you can ride them and have adventures!
Le: Yes, probably not a good idea to ride a cat around the house. ☺ How many pets do you have today?
MS: Six – four horses, a cat, and a goldfish
Le: Have you ever rescued an animal?
MS: We rescue wild birds from our cat all the time, which is appropriate since we rescued the cat too (somebody dumped him on the side of the road and he found us).
Le: How do they have that ability to find the people they need? But I definitely believe they do. Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?
MS: All the time. Jewel makes an appearance under a different name in my latest book, Shades of Morning.
Le: And Shakes of Morning just came out! What was your favorite character animal?
MS: Max, the iguana. He’s Marnie’s one and only pet in Shades of Morning. I don’t know why that woman had to pick an iguana for a pet when I’ve never had one, but she did. Insisted that I write in an iguana for her. I suggested a nice kitten or hamster, but she’d have none of it. It was an iguana or nothing. So, I had to learn all about iguanas just for her. Turns out Max was pretty cool.
Le: Isn’t that funny how characters make their own choices. ☺ Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?
MS: Jewel, in Shades of Morning. I also have a new idea I’m working on in which my daughter’s little Paint mare, Oreo, is a main character.
Le: Ah, I love Paint horses. And Oreo is a great name. What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?
MS: For six months, Jewel braided her own mane by rubbing against a post in her stall. THAT was a sight to behold!
Le: I bet! Is there a secret that only our pet knows?
MS: I don’t mind scooping horse poop as long as I get a few minutes of peace and quiet while I’m doing it (sometimes it’s my only quiet of the whole day). Shhh… don’t tell my daughters because I told them that poop-scooping is their job!
Le: What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?
MS: I don’t ride her often enough, and we don’t go fast enough. Jewel loves to go!
Le: Love that! Go Jewel! And did I tell you that Jewell (two l’s was my grandmother’s name?) What is your pet peeve about your pet?
MS: She doesn’t like to open her mouth for the bit, even though she LOVES for us to go riding. Silly girl!
Le: Well, I’m not sure I’d like a bit either. Hilo doesn’t like her collar but she loves to go for a walk and as soon as we get back home she is trying to get that thing off. ☺ Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask Jewel a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺
Le: Hi, Jewel! You are beautiful! Thanks for coming by. What would be the title of your autobiography?
J: Let’s Ride! Tales of a horse who loves to go.
Le: Well, of course! If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?
J: Sure. She’d be the one with all the kids.
Le: Ahhh. What’s your favorite movie?
Le: A very good movie! What musical instrument would you like to play?
J: The drums, with my hooves of course.
Le: What do you think about cats? Dogs?
J: Cats are fine. They keep the mice away in the barn. Unless of course they’re very big cats (like mountain lions) that eat horses. I don’t like big cats at all. I snort at them. I don’t like dogs either. I don’t see the point of them. (My friend likes dogs a lot, though, so she must see something in them.) My philosophy is to ignore dogs completely.
Le: I would imagine a dog like my Hilo would be annoying as she likes to bark and would want to chase you. You would not like that! Where do you sleep at night?
J: In my stall, at the barn, next to my friends Valentine and Smokey.
Le: Ah, tell Valentine and Smokey hello and that they’ll have to come by sometime. What do you do when your friend is writing?
J: I take care of everyone at the barn and make sure they are all getting along. It’s my job to run things in a reasonable and equitable fashion so that there’s no fighting, biting, or kicking.
Le: I bet you do a great job! What is your idea of bliss?
J: Turning the last barrel and running as fast as I can back through the timing poles. I love gymkhana!
Le: I want to come watch some time! What is your friend’s idea of bliss?
J: Turning the last barrel and running as fast as we can back through the timing poles! I think she likes gymkhana too. We have fun!
Le: Thank you so much, Jewel, for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear? Thanks again, Marlo! And everybody go by Shades of Morning so Jewel can have lots of oats to eat.