Recently, I had the honor of interviewing Andra and Morgan Elbert, the authors of the adorable new book Winnie the Mini Horse. This mother-daughter duo is also involved with Heartland Mini Hoofs, a nonprofit organization using miniature horses to provide therapy to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, etc. Read on to learn more!
R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
E: We are a mother-daughter team who shares a love of horses and reading. Both of us always have a book nearby that we are reading.
R: Tell us about your new book Winnie the Mini Horse.
E: Our first book is the introduction of Winnie to her new family (or herd, as it is called in the horse world). Winnie is beginning her journey to learn how to become a therapy animal.
R: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
E: We thought that this would be a great way to introduce the public to the new therapy avenue using miniature horses.
R: What would you like your readers to take away from the book?
E: How everyone, including horses, are faced with new situations every day. Through practice and patience, many obstacles can be overcome.
R: Who drew the pictures for the book?
E: An illustrator at the publishing house.
R: Where can people get your book?
E: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Archway Publishing.
R: At what age did you find your love for horses?
E: Morgan began riding at 11, and within a couple of weeks she was jumping horses over rails! Now she is a seasoned horsewoman with years of experience. Currently she is riding in the discipline of Eventing (Olympic riding events).
R: When did you start riding and showing horses?
E: After placing in her first show, there was no turning back for Morgan.
R: What is your favorite thing about being around horses?
E: They are the most loving, loyal and non-judgmental animals. When you ride, you truly develop a lasting bond of mutual respect.
R: Tell us about Heartland Mini Hoofs.
E: We are a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization providing animal assisted activity and therapy visits using miniature horses. With our special animals, Winnie, Bailey and Jasper, we provide smiles, laughter and love to nursing homes, hospitals, libraries, schools, Alzheimer’s units, senior communities and other special groups.
R: Is Winnie one of your horses at Heartland Mini Hoofs?
E: Winnie is the newest member of the family. The other two horses are Bailey and Jasper.
R: What are you currently working on?
E: We have outlined the second book and are currently adding details.
R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to become a writer?
E: Make sure you have a way to record or write down your thoughts. Most importantly, never give up!
R: Are you or your books on any social networking sites? What about an official website?
E: We are on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/winniethemini/ Twitter – http://tiwtter.com/winnieminihorse, and we have a blog – http://www.winnietheminihorse.com!wednesdays-with-winnie/
R: Is there anything else you would like to add?
E: Reading and horses are a wonderful combination for children. We try to make it extra special by having Winnie “hoof” sign any books that we donate to schools and libraries.
R: Thank you for the interview. It was an honor. Have a great day.
Written by: Jill Sheets
All photo credits: Bettis Photography of Taylorville, IL