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A horse! A horse!

March 4, 2015

A horse!  A horse!  My kingdom for a horse….

What young person hasn’t said that or at least thought it?  Maybe not as dramatically as in William Shakespeare’s fictionalized version of King Richard III when he lost his horse in battle, but most of us would have given almost anything for a horse.

Mrs. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, author, equestrian, and brave spirit thought that too, but for her it was a bigger dream than for most.  You see, Deanie was born with cerebral palsy.  In her Tails of Sweetbriar, Deanie tells her story.  She grew up on a farm surrounded by a loving family and the ever-present focus of her dreams…horses.  Was this a blessing or a cruel joke?  You see, Deanie wasn’t able to walk until she was four years old, and then only with the help of her ingenious and determined father did she master sitting on a horse.

Tails of Sweetbriar is not only a true story, but a great chapter book for young readers and a great read for families as a whole. Young people will love the details about horses, and parents will love the lesson taught of overcoming difficulties to accomplish success.

Ride along with Deanie as she tells her story and teaches all of us about turning challenges into triumphs.

The following questions will give you some insight to this lovely, strong-willed woman.

1.  Why did you decide to become a writer?  I have always been interested in writing, but it was a matter of building confidence so I could actually do it. I wanted to write children’s stories that shared important lessons in an entertaining manner.

2.  What was your goal when you started writing and what is it now?  My goal then and now is to create stories that are fun to read, amusing, and convey helpful lessons. I try not to preach the lessons, but they are subtly included so the readers can think about them.

3.  Do you have a home office?  Please describe it or tell us where you like to write.  Yes, actually I share a small room with our dog, Elliott. My antique desk is here, along with my computer, the printer, the phone, and my chair. Directly behind my chair is Elliott’s crate. He sleeps here at night, or when we are away from home. By the way, Elliott is an important character in three of my books. He’s a mixed-breed terrier, whom we adore. This room has two windows so it’s bright and sunny during the day.

How many hours a day do you write?  I spend various amounts of time writing, depending on the schedule that day. Sometimes I work on a new story, or blog. Other days I spend time reviewing books for other children’s authors. I think it’s important for authors to spend time writing every day so your skills are always improving.

Tell us a little about your books.  Do you have a favorite?       I’m not sure that I have a favorite. I would say my award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, might have been the easiest to write because I knew the message I wanted to convey, that all things are possible if you persevere. This book details the challenges I overcame in childhood so that I could realize my dream, against the odds. My Dad made a decision that changed my life. The other books: Charlie the Horse, deanie1Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, are told from the animals’ points of view. They’re amusing and entertaining. Each of them highlights important lessons like persistence, setting goals, developing natural talents and helping others, as well as kindness.

7.  What is the best advice you can give a new writer?  I would say to always follow your dreams and not be deterred if you have disappointments. Try to use these to motivate you to continue. If you persevere, you are likely to succeed. Quitting  only insures failure.

How do you feel about the books, TV, and movies that are the most popular with young people today?  I wish there were more family oriented movies that would showcase good values, not superficial things like someone’s appearance. I’d like movies to stress that it’s the inside of someone that matters. It’s unfortunate that emphasis is often on less important, material things.

10.  If you could say one thing to encourage children to read, what would it be?  I would tell children that reading can open all kinds of exciting adventures for you. Just imagine you can travel anywhere, you can read about people who have changed lives. There’s no limit to the knowledge that reading offers you.

Thank you so much, Kathleen, for spending time with me today.  It’s been fun to discuss my books with you and I hope your readers enjoy learning about them.

Reblogged from:

  1. Excellent interview, Deanie. I’ll pop over to Kathleen’s blog and share it from there. Kudos on your writing and on sharing your experience of overcoming challenges! 🙂

  2. Thank you, Bette. Kathleen is another gifted author, as are you. I like inspiring others and I think my autobiography accomplishes that. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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