Laurie Berglie, or as many of you know her as @MarylandEquestrian, happily answered some questions about her equestrian side, but also her life as a writer. Learn about how she got to be a published author, where she gets her inspiration from, the best advice she's been given and what being #AdultAmmyStrong means to her.
Name: Laurie Berglie
Horse(s) name(s) & age(s): Misty (16), Bailey (17), and Swift (5)
Tell me about yourself. How did you get into horses? How often do you ride?
My mom always rode, so I grew up with horses in my backyard. I don't remember a time where I wasn't head over heels, crazy in love with horses. My mom was (and still is) a western pleasure/trail rider, so I learned to ride western first, but by the time I was 8 or 9, I knew I wanted to ride English. I started taking lessons shortly thereafter.
As long as the weather cooperates, I try and ride 3 to 4 times a week. That's hard to do in the winter, but I try and make up for that throughout the rest of the year. I keep my horses in my backyard, so without a ring with decent footing, it's hard to be consistent. I do trailer out to a local indoor as often as I can though!
Have you always been a writer? How did an interest in writing lead to becoming an author?
I was always that kid who was scribbling something and writing fun short stories, and they would, of course, feature horses in some way. That creative outlet never went away, and as I grew older, I would always try and make time to write as much as possible - whether it was a post for my blog or an article for a horse magazine. I was also usually working on some fiction project, but finding the time between work, horses, family, friends, etc. to complete an entire piece was difficult. But as the story which eventually became Where the Bluegrass Grows progressed, I really fell in love with my characters and wanted to see where their stories would take them. So I just kept at it. Now here I am, three books later! I'm just writing the kind of books I want to read - equestrian romance!
Where do you find inspiration for your books, and writing in general?
I find inspiration all around me, every single day, but for most of my books, I pull from my own life. I feel like there is a little piece of me in each of my main characters. I also pull from my life experiences as well as from places I've visited. My books are fiction, so there is a lot that is completely fabricated, but there are quite a few places, restaurants, show venues, etc. that are real.
I also use my characters to answer my "what if" questions. What if I had gone to vet school like I had wanted? What if I decided to give up my 9-5 job and follow my dream of working with horses? What if I was a full-time writer? What would my life look like? And I just go from there. And, of course, all my books contain my first love - horses!
interested in Laurie's books?
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give others?
Can be work/writing-related, equestrian or personally.
The best advice I've received is probably the same advice I'd give - and that is find what works best for you and make that your routine. For example, some people love to get up early and write. Then there are those who prefer writing late at night. For me, I do my best writing in the afternoon. Some people need to make a detailed outline before they write - others will just put pen to paper and see where the characters take them. I tend to fall into the latter category because I don't always know where the story is going to go and how things will end.
Another good piece of advice I've received is to "touch" your story every day. There are days when you don't feel like writing, aren't feeling very motivated or inspired, or simply don't have much time, and that's okay. On those days, I pull up whatever I'm working on and I might edit one chapter. I might not even write, but at least I made the effort to "touch" my work, and that makes me feel like I accomplished something, even though it was small.
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
I love being an adult amateur. It means that I choose this sport, over and over, again and again, because I love the horse. This isn't my job, I won't make any money, it's not a business - it's a hobby and passion that will set my soul on fire for as long as I live. It means I choose the early mornings and the late nights, the physical labor in all types of weather, the dirt and the grime, and the days when the list of barn chores is so long there's no time leftover to ride. I choose the good and the bad because there's nothing quite like the sounds of a quiet barn with horses contentedly munching on hay. There's nothing like the nicker your horse gives when he sees you, or how your heart glows when he leaves his friends behind in the field to meet you at the gate. And, even though these days are very few and far between, there's nothing like that blue ribbon I hang on my hutch when I get home from a long, exhausting, but exhilarating, day at a horse show.
#AdultAmmyStrong also means community because I am so grateful for my "horse friends." The ones who cheer you on from the sidelines, who hold your horse so you can take a bathroom break, who bolster you up after a not-so-great lesson, who lend you their gloves, crop, trailer, you name it, because they know you'd do it for them in a heartbeat if the tables were turned. We are a unique group, a rare breed of people who, regardless of any other difference, come together and connect over something so large that all other differences fade away. We horse people are all the same, and we will fiercely protect our tribe, be it equine or human. I couldn't imagine ever being part of any other tribe.
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