Saturday, April 13, 2024

Exclusive Interview with B.E. Nance, Author of Whispering Hooves


And we’re back! Late last year WHISPERING HOOVES, a book I edited and ended up co-writing with my old friend, B.E. Nance, was published. I’m credited as the rather obvious Stefanie Thom. While the book is categorized as a romance set in the modern western horse world, it’s also a character study of many years in the life of a remarkable woman who refuses to let continued adversity keep her down. 


B.E. Nance is an old friend so I know some of her backstory but I recently sat down with her and asked her to share some of it with you.



Can you tell our readers some of your background? 



Certainly. I have a deep-rooted connection with horses that has been woven into the fabric of my life since childhood. Growing up in the northeast, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ride and bond with these magnificent creatures, finding solace and joy in their presence. However, my passion for horses truly blossomed when my family relocated to the south when I was very young.


During my adolescence, I spent formative years in the Midwest, attending high school and immersing myself in the equestrian world. After graduating, I seized an incredible opportunity to work for a ranch in Wyoming, where my journey with horses took on new meaning. Over time, I honed my skills and dedication, eventually rising to the position of lead horse trainer.


Throughout my life, I've embraced the role of mentor and guide, sharing my love of horses with others through teaching and training. While I never pursued competitive riding, my joy came from riding for pleasure and helping others discover the same sense of fulfillment and connection with their own horses.


Whispering Hooves is a deeply personal project for me, as many of the events that unfold in Cassie Donovan's life mirror my own experiences. Like Cassie, I faced challenges and trials during my childhood and adolescence, some of which remain shrouded in mystery due to memory loss of an undetermined nature. Yet, amidst the hardships, I found love and solace in the presence of horses, much like Cassie finds refuge in her passion for animals.


Just as Cassie meets the man who steals her heart, I too encountered a love that transformed my life, echoing the profound connection and enduring bond portrayed in the novel. Whispering Hooves is not just a story; it's a reflection of my journey, my passion for horses, and the resilience of the human spirit. 



In what area of the country are you now located? 



Ah, the whereabouts of my current homestead are a bit of a well-kept secret, shrouded in the enchanting mystery of the desert winds and the whispering hooves (plug intended!) that grace our land. Let's just say, we've found a haven nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the American Southwest, where the sunsets paint the sky in hues of crimson and gold, and the desert breeze carries tales of old and secrets untold. 



Okay, we know you love horses but why do they figure so prominently in the book? 



Horses hold a special place in Whispering Hooves for both emotional and logical reasons. Emotionally, horses symbolize freedom, strength, and the untamed spirit of love. They represent a connection to nature and a source of solace and companionship during times of adversity. For Cassie Donovan, and indeed for many of us, horses become not just animals, but trusted confidants and steadfast companions who understand us in ways that words cannot express.


Logically, horses serve as a powerful narrative device. Their presence enriches the story, adding depth and authenticity to Cassie's journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Through her interactions with horses, Cassie learns valuable lessons about trust, patience, and the transformative power of love, guiding her towards her healing and redemption.


Ultimately, though, horses are more than just characters in Whispering Hooves; they are integral to the fabric of the story, embodying the timeless beauty and untamed spirit that resonates deeply with readers' hearts. 




How would you describe the plot of Whispering Hooves?



Whispering Hooves is a powerful odyssey that traverses the landscapes of the heart, from the serene hills of Ohio to sun-drenched Florida, and ultimately finding its resolute spirit amidst the rugged majesty of Wyoming. It's a narrative that mirrors the ebbs and flows of Cassie Donovan's life, from the innocence of childhood to the crucible of adolescence, and finally, the transformative journey of self-discovery.


From the warmth of familial bonds to the searing pain of shattered dreams, each chapter pulsates with the raw emotion of the human experience, drawing readers into Cassie's world with an intimacy that is both heart wrenching and healing.


However, it's important to note that Whispering Hooves also delves into explicit realms, exploring the depths of Cassie’s passion and desire with raw honesty. Intertwined with moments of intimacy are scenes of profound vulnerability, including instances of sexual assault that are depicted with unflinching realism. These scenes are not included for shock value, but rather as a testament to my belief that victims of sexual assault deserve to have their stories heard and understood, without shame or stigma.


I firmly believe that survivors of sexual assault should never be silenced or marginalized, and by depicting these harrowing experiences within the narrative, I strive to foster a greater understanding and empathy towards those who have endured such trauma. Through Cassie's journey of healing and resilience, readers are invited to confront the harsh realities of sexual violence and to stand in solidarity with those who have survived it, recognizing their strength and courage in the face of unspeakable adversity. 



Would you agree that parts of the book are autobiographical?



Yes, I would agree that parts of Whispering Hooves are indeed autobiographical. While the novel is primarily a work of fiction, it draws heavily from my own life experiences and emotions, particularly in regards to Cassie’s journey. Many of the events and emotions portrayed in the book echo my own experiences, albeit often through a lens of fiction and artistic interpretation.


Cassie's struggles, triumphs, and moments of vulnerability are deeply rooted in my own personal trek, from my upbringing in various regions of the United States to my deep connection with horses and the transformative power of love itself. So, yes, while Cassie's story is unique and distinct from my own, there are undoubtedly elements of autobiography woven throughout the narrative, adding depth and authenticity to her character. Ultimately, Whispering Hooves blurs the lines between fact and fiction to create a story that is as emotionally resonant as it is compelling.




What have you written before this first novel? 



Before Whispering Hooves, I wrote several complete unpublished novels that served as stepping stones on my way to being a writer. These earlier works were diverse in genre and theme, reflecting my explorations as a storyteller and my evolving understanding of my own voice as an author.


Among these unpublished novels were a couple based on the beloved Star Trek franchise, where I delved into the realms of science fiction and adventure. These projects allowed me to immerse myself in the rich lore and captivating characters of the Star Trek universe, honing my skills in world-building and narrative structure.


Additionally, I embarked on a couple of historical romance novels, although they remained unfinished and unpublished. These projects allowed me to delve into the intricacies of love and longing across different time periods, exploring themes of passion, duty, and destiny.


While these earlier works never saw the light of day, they were invaluable learning experiences that paved the way for Whispering Hooves. It took me many years to realize that the story of Cassie Donovan had been simmering in my heart all along, waiting to be told. With Whispering Hooves, I finally found the courage and clarity to bring that story to life. 



We met when you were a bookseller. Sell me on your book.



Step right in, my friend, and prepare to be swept away by the breathtaking tale of Whispering Hooves! This novel isn't just a story—it's an emotional rollercoaster, crafted by two remarkable authors who know just how to tug at your heartstrings and keep you on the edge of your seat.


Picture yourself transported from the tranquil hills of Ohio to sunny Florida, and then thrust into the rugged, untamed beauty of Wyoming. Through the eyes of Cassie Donovan, you'll experience a whirlwind of emotions—love, loss, passion, and redemption—all woven together in a tapestry of unfiltered human experience.


But hold on tight, because Whispering Hooves isn't just about the places you'll go—it's about the journey you'll take. With every page turn, you'll feel the ache in Cassie's heart, the sting of her tears, and the fiery passion that drives her forward against all odds.


What sets this novel apart is its unflinching honesty and authenticity. These authors bare their souls, delving deep into themes of trauma, healing, and the enduring power of love. It's a story that will grip you from the very first page and refuse to let go, leaving you breathless and craving more. Whispering Hooves is a book you won't soon forget—one that may well leave you forever changed. 



What are your future plans as an author?



As I look to the future, I'm filled with excitement about the possibilities that lie ahead.


Reflecting on our conversation about my background and previous writing endeavors, I'm reminded of the diverse paths I've explored and the stories I've yet to tell. While Whispering Hooves marks my debut in published fiction, it's just the beginning of what I hope will be a long and fulfilling career as an author.


Building on the themes of love, passion, and resilience that we've discussed, I'm eager to continue exploring new genres and themes, drawing on my past experiences and interests to inform my future work. Whether it's delving deeper into steamy romance fiction, revisiting my love for science fiction, or venturing into uncharted territory with historical romances, I'm excited to see where my writing journey takes me.


And of course, none of this would be possible without the support and encouragement of partners like yourself. Your enthusiasm for storytelling and your willingness to join me on this adventure mean the world to me, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my stories with you, “Stefanie.” 



How would you describe your editor. AHEM... 



Ah, Steven, my dear friend and partner in literary mischief, let me tell you a bit about our esteemed editor. Picture this: a steady hand guiding us through all the twists and turns, with a keen eye for detail and a knack for bringing out the best in our work.


Steven, you've been the backbone of Whispering Hooves, offering invaluable feedback, catching those pesky typos, and helping us refine our prose to perfection. But it's not just your editing prowess that I admire—it's your unwavering support and friendship that truly make you stand out.


With your good humor and down-to-earth approach, you've made the editing process a breeze, turning what could have been a daunting task into a collaborative and enjoyable experience. Your insights and suggestions have pushed us to new heights, and I'm grateful for the time and effort you've dedicated to our project.


So, here's to you, Steven, my trusted editor and cherished friend. Whispering Hooves wouldn't be the same without you, and I'm grateful to have you by my side as we bring our story to life.


Booksteve: Aw, shucks, B.E. Thanks. And I can’t wait to read what you come up with next!


Whispering Hooves is available through the usual sources—Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. It can be purchased in hardcover, trade paperback or eBook format.

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