Welcome back to the 2022 Inspirational Western Women series.
Happy September, Labor Day, and National Read a Book Day!
I’m excited for you to meet my featured gal and her books for this month.
If you like adventure, then you’ll surely enjoy . . .
Greetings from Colorado. As I contemplated what I should write, I considered what it means to be a “Western Woman.” I thought about self-reliance, I thought about hard work, I thought about perseverance, I thought about love of country, family, and God, I thought about serving others, and I thought about adventure.
I have always been a “Western Woman” while living in Oregon and Colorado, and a person who tries to develop each of the characteristics listed above. But what to write about? I finally settled on the last…adventure.
Life is an adventure that we need to embrace daily. Adventure challenges us and takes us out of our comfort zone.
I was born in Oregon seventy years ago with a “Genetic Defect.”
I have the gene labeled “Horse-Lover.”
It is a condition that affects your entire life and can’t be outgrown.
My parents had a hard time understanding their weird daughter, but they did their best to treat my condition by letting me take riding lessons starting at the age of eight. I think they thought I would get over it. Lessons only made it worse.
When I was thirteen, I bought my own horse and supported him myself. This certainly kept me out of trouble!
At twenty-one and a college graduate, I sold my wonderful horse in order to get married and move to Connecticut where my husband was attending Yale. Newlyweds on the east coast can’t support a horse. But I made my husband promise to let me get another horse when the last child went to first grade.
He kept his promise. I didn’t…I got two horses!
As a newcomer to Colorado when I bought my horses, I wanted to do two things: find a Dressage trainer so that I could get back in the show ring, and, secondly, find out where the great trails were located.
Remember…I wanted adventure.
As an aspiring author, I thought of the bookstore. No equestrian trail guidebooks to be found. Did that stop me? I’m a Western Woman, don’t forget. So, I gathered some friends, we blocked off our Fridays, and started exploring.
The result was my first published book: “Riding Colorado – Day Trips from Denver with Your Horse.” This was so much fun to do that we kept exploring and the result was “Riding Colorado II,” “Riding Colorado III,” and “Riding Colorado and Beyond.”
I learned something important. If you want to make money as an author, you should write either Romance or non-fiction that fills a need. There was definitely a need for equestrian trail guide books in the Denver area.
While working on the Riding Colorado series, I was also writing the fiction stories that were in my head dying to come out. Most of them, even the fantasies, are horse-based.
I recently completed my sixteenth novel out of the twenty-one books I have written after stumbling across some information about the Sand Pounders during World War II. They were members of the U.S. Coast Guard’s mounted beach patrol.
This unit patrolled the beaches on both the west coast and the east coast. I was able to get their recently declassified report and learn all about them. Then I decided to create a story about a young woman in Tillamook, Oregon, who wanted to be a Sand Pounder.
However, they were only taking men. Since she was a Western Woman, that didn’t stop her. She disguised herself as a man and joined up with her horse, Star.
Historical Fiction is so much fun to write because of all the research that goes into it. Most people have never heard of the Sand Pounders, so it was fun learning and sharing what I learned by writing this book.
Writing has been an adventure for me. I have worked hard to write wonderful books and learn the publishing business. I have been rewarded by receiving dozens of literary awards for my books. And I keep learning. Remember, life is an adventure that we need to embrace daily.
Pick your adventure and go for it!
Margi Evans writes her fiction titles under “M.J. Evans.” She is a graduate of Oregon State University, the mother of five children, and the grandmother of twelve. She and her husband have been married for fifty years. Margi spent five years teaching middle-grade and high school students before retiring to raise their children. She is the award-winning author of twenty-one books, most of them being horse-based. She lives in Colorado where she loves competing in dressage and riding the trails in the Rocky Mountains.
Connect with Margi
Visit her website to see all her books: www.dancinghorsepress.com
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