Q&A: Carrie Seim, Creator of ‘Horse Woman’


Horse Woman by Carrie Seim is Imply Ladies meets Black Magnificence, a humorous and tender middle-grade novel about discovering your perpetually herd. We had the pleasure of chatting with Carrie about her new launch, ebook suggestions, writing, and extra!

Hello, Carrie! Inform us a bit about your self!

Whats up! Thanks a lot for having me! I grew up in Nebraska —the setting of my new ebook, Horse Woman — and in accordance with my highschool counselors, I used to be alleged to change into an engineer. However after faculty, I landed a job on the Sundance Movie Institute in Los Angeles and started taking courses at The Groundlings comedy theatre. That’s the place I first discovered to create splendidly bizarre characters and scenes — whenever you’re performing for a dwell viewers you get immediate suggestions as to what’s working and what’s bombing. A Saturday Evening Reside scout occurred to be within the viewers one night time and invited me to New York to audition for the present. Spoiler: I didn’t get forged, however I did get stopped by the TSA for having three wigs and wig heads in my carry-on. From there, I went on to jot down and carry out for tv (together with Nickelodeon and Inside Amy Schumer) and likewise labored as a journalist and essayist. My first book-script hybrid — The Flying Flamingo Sisters — debuted on the tail finish of 2019. It’s a bit like an old-timey radio play and ended up changing into an Audible fiction bestseller final summer season. And now Horse Woman, my first “actual” ebook, is popping out. I’m ridiculously excited! Different enjoyable details? I play piano and love trivia, similar to the imply huge sister character in my new ebook. (Be aware to self: schedule appointment with therapist.)

After the chaos that was 2020, have you ever set any targets for this yr? If that’s the case, how are they going thus far?

My first aim is to hug my dad and mom and my sister! We’re such a detailed household, however we haven’t been in a position to journey to see one another — I miss them terribly. My second aim is to (ahem) get again within the saddle. I’m dying to take just a few horseback driving classes and brush up on the fundamentals. Hopefully I’ll get to do each later this spring.

Fast lightning spherical! Inform us the primary ebook you ever bear in mind studying, the one which made you need to change into an writer, and one you can’t cease desirous about!

The primary three books I bear in mind studying: The Monster on the Finish of This Ebook, The Little Engine That May, and Higgelty-Piggelty-Pop! Or, There Should Be Extra to Life — a fantastically darkish story by Maurice Sendak. The one which made me an writer: Little Ladies. How are you going to meet Jo March and never need to change into an writer?? I can’t cease desirous about: Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley —a fairy story balm.

When did you first uncover your love for writing?

I’ve been writing tales for so long as I can bear in mind. My dad and mom have been each academics, so studying was a factor in our home. They saved all my early “books,” which have been scrawled in crayon on stapled development paper. In elementary faculty, I used to be consistently writing performs, then dragooning my sister and the neighborhood youngsters to carry out them — like slightly Margot Tenenbaum. I launched a newspaper for our avenue (the Lois Lane Instances) and entered each writing contest I may discover. Creating imaginary worlds — and dragging different folks into them — is basically all I’ve ever needed to do.

Your new novel, Horse Woman, releases on March 30th 2021! Should you may solely describe it in 5 phrases, what would they be?

Black Magnificence meets Imply Ladies!

What can readers anticipate?

A comic book romp with numerous coronary heart. Now we have one thing for everybody: majestic Clydesdales, tween angst, awkward dad jokes, mysterious notes, bedazzled breeches, vocal fry, snack breaks, heartbreak, horse fails and stress sweat. Every chapter additionally comes with enjoyable “hoofnotes,” which assist clarify a number of the equestrian phrases (and a number of the tween angst).

The place did the inspiration for Horse Woman come from?

My sister [actor and author Lindsay Seim] and I have been each utterly horse loopy as youngsters. We have been obsessive about all of the classics, like Black Magnificence, Misty of Chincoteague and King of the Wind, together with the Saddle Membership and Thoroughbred collection. We have been these women who arrange brooms and laundry baskets within the again yard, then tried to make our canines leap “the course.” When the canines invariably declined, we’d leap it ourselves. After we lastly satisfied my dad and mom to allow us to attend horse camp, I found, tragically, that I’ve a extreme allergy to horses. Desires have been dashed! After camp, my sister bought to proceed driving classes at a steady in Omaha, whereas I used to be plopped into piano classes. However I’d go to my sister’s classes each week and watch her, doing my homework within the stands. In some ways, Horse Woman is a love letter to my sister. The horse-tagonist within the story — and lots of of his humorous antics — are based mostly on an actual horse Lindsay used to trip, a Clydesdale-thoroughbred named Clyde Lee.

Are you able to inform us about any challenges you confronted whereas writing and the way you overcome them?

I used to be about midway by writing the ebook within the spring of 2019 when my mother had a stroke. I flew to Florida to be together with her and my dad within the hospital. She was in a coma for a number of days, however one of many first issues she stated to the nurses when she awakened was that her daughter was writing a ebook — and he or she began naming the characters in my ebook. (Sob!) That’s the second I knew she’d be OK. (Properly that, and her alternative phrases when the nurse requested her to call the present president.) It was terribly tough to maintain writing. However I knew I needed to end, if solely to make her proud.

The opposite, extra technical problem was ensuring I had all of the equestrian details and terminology appropriate. I did a deep dive into equine analysis, consulting veterinarians and riders to ensure I nailed it.

If it’s not too spoilery, have been there any favorite moments or characters you actually loved writing or exploring?

I completely cherished writing the connection between Willa, the protagonist, and her older sister, Kay. It’s very Ramona and Beezus. It was such enjoyable to forged myself as the massive sister “villain” — or at the very least the pseudo-villain. There’s a scene the place they’re having an argument from reverse ends of a laundry chute, and that was completely drawn from actual life. However as a lot as they struggle, Kay is all the time there for Wills when it actually counts. I hope that electrical sibling relationship will resonate with readers.

My two favorite moments are the opening scene — which is sort of dramatic, each by way of the motion and the emotional stakes — and, later within the ebook, the Halloween parade. All the scholars at Oakwood Using Academy have gone to nice lengths and expense to decorate their horses in elaborate costumes, however Willa has to make Clyde’s costume herself. Catastrophe and hijinks ensue! I bought to spend a complete afternoon dreaming up humorous concepts for horse costumes — it was a kind of uncommon “I really like that that is my job” moments.

What’s one of the best and the worst writing recommendation you have got acquired?

The perfect recommendation comes from my two favorite writing books: “Kill your darlings” (from Stephen King’s On Writing) and “Fowl by Fowl” (from Anne Lamott’s ebook of the identical title).

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The worst recommendation, I believe, is to share your work with too many individuals too early within the course of. That’s to not say you don’t want suggestions — you completely do. However I believe it’s higher to start out with a small, supportive and considerate circle of first readers. The opposite worst recommendation, in writing and in life, is to shrink your desires. I’m a giant believer in dreaming huge and trusting your loopy concepts. Don’t let a self-appointed gatekeeper (or concern) cease you from dreaming huge.

What’s subsequent for you?

I ought to have some ebook information to share very quickly … keep tuned!

Lastly, do you have got any ebook suggestions for our readers?

Completely! Horse Loopy by New York Instances reporter Sarah Maslin Nir is a phenomenal, tender assortment of fascinating character research of horse lovers world wide. Learn it for the “Misty” chapter alone! Center-grade horse lovers ought to try the Ellen & Ned collection in addition to Maintain Your Horses MadLibs, which comes out in Could and was written by my sister! Lastly, Little & Usually — a wide ranging memoir written by my buddy and fellow Iowa State alum Trent Preszler — is out in April.

Thanks a lot, Nerd Each day — chatting with you was an absolute delight!

Will you be selecting up Horse Woman? Inform us within the feedback under!

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