Y’all know I grew up riding horses, and that’s why they appear so often in my stories. So when I found Candace Carrabus’ books, I was thrilled to know she is both an experienced rider and a talented writer. If you like horses, or just love of a good mystery, I totally recommend her mystery, On the Buckle. (PG-13…it is for grown-ups, y’all)
Here’s a great line from the book that describes the allure of riding; “When I get in the saddle, some channel opens that is closed to most others…it put me in a zone of some kind where nothing could touch us-if I was on a horse I knew was ready, a horse that could do it.”
Aha! What she said!
The main character, Viola Parker, is sassy, funny, hooked on whipped cream straight from the can, and shares what we all feel about a good ride. And then finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery that had me chomping at the bit to find out who-done-it until the end.
I chatted with Candace recently about her research for the mystery (no spoilers, but you’ll be intrigued), her writing, and riding.
BEV: I know you did quite a bit of research for On the Buckle. What was the most unusual topic you looked into?
CANDACE: This is impossible to answer fully without giving away an important part of the story, but I’ll tell you that I read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Also, I called the famous University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility known as the Body Farm. When I asked what I needed to know, the person I spoke with paused, then said, “Hmmmm…I don’t think we’ve ever tried that.” I asked them if they would, but they never got back to me. Yet.
BEV: Reader, when you read On the Buckle, you’ll discover what…ahem…process of decomp Candace was inquiring about. I wouldn’t be surprised if “the Farm” is undergoing the research even as we speak! Candace, what’s next in the series?
CANDACE: Dreamhorse Mystery #2 will pick up almost where On The Buckle leaves off. Vi is settling in to her new life when her parents come to visit. But is this just a social call? All I can say is, Vi better stay on top of her whipped cream inventory.
BEV: What’s the funniest/most ironic thing that’s happened to you while writing?
CANDACE: When I was writing the first draft of Raver, (the first in her Fantasy series) I had a minor character to introduce, a walk-on with one scene who might occasionally have a role later in the story. At least, that was my plan. Ha! How naive!! She roared onto the page with a bang, insisting on a more major role, impossible to ignore. I’ve had characters talk to me before, but this was the first time I’d had one be so forceful.
BEV: HAHA! Characters can be as head strong as a young colt, right? Thanks for sharing, Candace! Write on, and ride on!
CANDACE: Thanks for having me, Bev!
More about Candace: I’ve been writing stories and riding horses-frequently simultaneously-for as long as I can remember. I grew up on Long Island and spent my formative years in the saddle-just imagining. After high school, I traveled to Ness, England and studied at a British Horse Society training school. This was an all-around amazing experience. When I left, I clutched a certification to teach riding in my hot little hand, and I enjoyed instructing riders for many years. Who am I kidding? We know it is the horses who do the teaching. All we can do is try to remain open to what they have to say. Not surprisingly, my fiction and non-fiction are both frequently infused with the mystery and spirituality horses have brought to my life.