Nell Walton – The Bone Trail

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent book is called The Bone Trail. It is the story of journalist and horsewoman Kate Wyndham. She is sent to investigate the disappearance of two wild horse advocates in a remote area of northern Nevada. When she tries to gain information on the disappearance from the FBI and federal authorities she is stonewalled. She turns to Shoshone Indian Jim Ludlow, a local rancher and horse “whisperer” for help. During the course of their search, Ludlow and Wyndham develop a passionate, emotional relationship; one that if pursued, will alter their lives in ways neither is prepared to accept. Their search for answers soon imperils everything they hold dear and may even claim their lives.

My favorite character in the book is Jim Ludlow. I consider him to be the Sexiest Man in Print (SMIP)!

Tell us something about yourself.

I am an avid horsewoman and also own two wild horses, both of which came from a herd near Elko, NV. I’m also the founder and managing editor of the online equestrian news magazine, The AllHorses Post and received degrees in journalism and biology from the University of Arkansas . I spent many years as a professional journalist and worked as an intern for former President Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas. I live in East Tennessee on a small horse farm with my husband, four horses, one donkey, two cats and two dogs. The Bone Trail is my debut novel , although I have several on the shelf waiting to be finished. I’ve long been an advocate for the preservation of our wild horses and burros in the American West.

What inspired you to write this book?

I based this book on a couple of real events that happened last fall in Nevada. In an uneasily similar incident, a friend of mine who is a wild horse preservationist discovered a hidden trail of horse bones, and was harassed by agents of our government in a very unsettling manner. And, various extraction industries continue to put pressures on indigenous populations throughout the world. There are many legal battles being fought in Nevada right now by some of the people in Indian Country who are trying to protect both their rights as well as their very way of life.

America’s wild horse population is being wiped out, and I am convinced that one of the motives behind it has to do with the exploitation of natural resources.

How did you choose the title?

It was a natural title, developed from the core of the plot.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

It is extremely difficult to get fiction published these days, and, at the advice of several successful authors, I decided to utilize the publish on demand option offered by Amazon via Createspace . I was submitting the manuscript of The Bone Trail to agents, but I stopped pursuing that avenue once I offered the book for sale. I did invest in having an independent editor go through The Bone Trail for both grammar and content problems. Fortunately, she loved the book as written and made only minor grammatical changes for the most part and gave me advice on changing the pacing in Chapter 1. I am very comfortable with computers, document layout, etc., so that part was pretty easy. In addition, it is critical that the wild horse issues be addressed now, before it is too late. I didn’t feel I could wait the eighteen months to two years to have The Bone Trail available to the public if I went the traditional publishing route.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I started writing short stories when I was about seven years old, and have been writing off and on since then. I received a degree in journalism more years ago than I like to think about, and I took several creative writing classes in college. My chief writing mentor in college was my creative writing professor, who was also the state poet laureate.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Not really. I am fortunate to be one of those people that can sit down and write anywhere as long as I have my laptop.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I just picked names that I liked. Some are Native American names, and I did do some research for that.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Hire an editor to go through my second draft earlier than I did. It is nearly impossible to edit your own work effectively.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I read anything that is well written, with good characterization and a good plot. One of my favorite books that I have read recently is The Kite Runner. I also enjoy high fantasy and have most of my life.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Absolutely. It is a mystery series based in Albuquerque.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Never let rejections or unwarranted harsh criticism of your work prevent you from writing. If you keep writing, there will be someone, somewhere out there that gets what it is you are trying to say, and that’s what being a writer is all about. And, if you publish yourself, invest money to have a professional, independent editor go through you work prior to either submitting to publishers and agents, or producing it yourself.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

People who care about the Earth and enjoy reading good fiction.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Facebook Fan Page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/?act=287583265#!/pages/The-Bone-Trail/177304412309524

Twitter:nellwal

Facebook: AllHorses Post

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobe’s website and Smashwords:

Amazon Kindle Edition

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