A big welcome today to my Guest Author, Karen Bush. Karen's latest book, Haunting Hounds, is a collection of 150 short but tall tales of ghostly dogs and supernatural canines to make you shiver and raise your hackles. Perfect reading for Halloween or any other time of year! The text is accompanied by quirky illustrations by Claire Colvin, and 50% of all profits are being donated to Scruples Whippet Rescue.
You can read an extract and find out more at the dedicated website at http://hauntinghounds.jimdo.com
Or come and join in the fun at the Halloween countdown on Facebook
Available to buy on Amazon
I asked Karen to tell us a bit about herself.
1. How did you get started writing?
By accident rather than design: I ran out of things to say during a History A level exam, and you weren’t allowed to leave the exam room early. So I asked for a couple more sheets of foolscap and spent the next hour and a half writing a short story which had been buzzing around in my head since earlier that morning, when I should really have been concentrating on my revision notes. At the end of the exam I took more paper out with me than I handed in! I typed out the story when I got home, sent it off to Pony magazine and it was accepted for publication in their annual. A few years later, remembering the fee I’d been paid, I had the brainwave of starting writing again as a way of helping to subsidise the very low wage I was getting working full-time with horses. And one thing, as they say, led to another – although I was very grateful to Pony’s Editor at the time, Michael Williams, for all the encouragement, constructive criticism and good advice he offered and which kept me working away at the writing side of things at times when it would have been very easy to give up.
2. Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I once shared a bed with a ghostly dog! But if you want to know more about that, you’ll have to read my latest book, Haunting Hounds!
3. What’s your top writing tip for new writers?
Don’t ask friends or family to read your masterpiece and expect them to give you a truthful opinion! And do your research properly when writing about things outside your experience … even if you don’t use all the material, it will give your writing more authority and make it more believable.
I always knew I wanted to work with horses when I left school – and I did, and still do, as a riding teacher! I also wrote – partly to help pay the bills, and partly because even when it’s fiction, it’s another way of teaching, which I love doing. I was asked to write factual articles on a regular monthly basis for Your Horse and Pony magazine, which was great training for learning to write to length and meet tight deadlines. It was great fun as I got to meet famous horsy people on occasion too, including John and Michael Whittaker, Harvey Smith, Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Graham and Tina Fletcher and Jane Bartle-Wilson. I also spent a year working as editor on a national equestrian magazine, have written 18 horsy books so far and branched out into writing about dogs, with regular articles in Your Dog magazine and 4 doggy titles to date.
You can find out more about me on my website at www.karenbush.jimdo.com
I also have a website about the horsy book I’m currently working on at www.itonlyhappensinstories.jimdo.com
And my whippets have their own blog at http://ataleoftwowippitts.blogspot.com And yes, of course they write it all themselves – they have taught themselves to type using a Bonio clamped between their teeth. Although more often than not they are a bit lazy and simply dictate it to me …
Lovely to meet you, Karen. And good luck with the book!