Questions with Carly Kade

My First Author Interview

For starters, I would like to thank Carly Kade for everything and especially taking the time to work with me. I had this idea brewing for a while and it took be a bit of time to get my questions sent into her. After she sent them back with her response it then took me forever to finally post them on Booking Around. She never once bothered me or bugged me about it and I thank her for being so patient! She’s be amazing to work with and I thoroughly enjoy this friendship we’ve built! I would like to thank her for saying yes to this interview and making it such a great experience!

For those of you who don’t know, Carly Kade is the author of In the Reins. If you’ve yet to read her book then I highly suggest you do, It would be perfect for both non-horse lovers and horse lovers alike! You may check out my review on her book here.

Interview with Carly Kade

A Booking Around and The Blue-Eyed Equestrian author interview questions: Carly Kade, author of In The Reins

Where did you develop the idea to write In the Reins?
My journey writing ‘In The Reins’ spanned four states!

I started thinking about the book concept in New York, actually began writing it in Michigan, finished the manuscript in Texas, and then made the final edits and published the novel in Arizona.

I didn’t set out to publish a novel until McKennon Kelly, the leading man from ‘In The Reins’, came to me like lightning one day in the form of a poem. I’ll never forget the day I furiously captured my cowboy heartthrob creation in my journal. That poem ended up being the intro to the book.

From there, I wrote the novel that I wanted to read. Beverly Cleary once said, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.” I think I’ve read everything in existence about horses, cowboys and romance. However, I couldn’t find a horse book series written about the western pleasure discipline.

What was your biggest inspiration when it came to writing In the Reins?
What truly inspired me to write ‘In The Reins” was that I wanted to read a love story themed around the type of horse shows I liked to compete in. There are a lot of equestrian novels out there focused on dressage or jumping or rodeo but I haven’t found any (yet) that focused on western pleasure competitive horse showing at breed shows like the Quarter Horse, Paint, Pinto or the Palomino Horse Circuits.

I was inspired to write a story that all horse lovers could appreciate no matter their discipline and I’ve heard through reviews that ‘In The Reins’ is a story that delivers by touching its readers’ inner cowgirls. I have found that my readers are just like me … horse crazy, book crazy, and crazy for handsome hunks that know a thing or two about horses.

What is your writing process?
My husband and I get up every morning at 5:30 am and start our day by walking our dogs. When we return home, I’ll meditate for about 15 minutes. Breathing the fresh air on our walk and then quieting my mind really prepares me for creativity! After I pour my first cup of coffee, I settle into my office for my morning writing session. I am not a morning person but it seems like my morning routine is when my creativity is most alive. I’m a night creative by nature but I’ve forced myself to be a morning creative!

I get inspired driving to and from the barn too. A lot of my ideas come from time spent in the saddle!

I have sticky notes all over the place. I don’t know why but I like them. I am sure there is some sort of way to take verbal notes with my iPhone but I just like grabbing a pen and a sticky note or my journal and getting the idea out before I forget it! If I get stuck, I get active and then ideas start flowing again so I’ll hit the gym. After my workout, I’ll sit in the locker room and write a whole chapter by hand in my journal. It’s like magic!

No matter where I am I love to listen to music when I write … all kinds of music … what I listen to depends on my mood. Some days it’s classical, sometimes it’s a movie soundtrack, other days it’s jazz or classic rock, and a lot of the time it is country. I often write about what I’m listening to on my blog.

Here’s a fun video about how and where I am writing the sequel to ‘In The Reins’:

Do you world-build around your characters or do you start with planning your characters and go from there?
I think the best stories are told from the heart. I don’t always know where my characters are going to take me. I let them lead and write their journey down as it comes. I don’t think you can force a twist or a turn. I think character development just comes naturally when a writer taps into that special writing zone and lets their heart (and the characters) guide the writing.

It is mentioned that Devon’s favorite online store is what is your favorite online horsey store?
When I was in the market for a horse, I was constantly on now days I like to pick up horse goodies from Schneiders Saddlery ( ). I’ve always been impressed with their customer service and when I lived n Michigan (a state with four seasons) I use to love their selection of reasonably priced horse blankets!

From what I understand, you have a horse of your own. How are Faith and your own horse alike?
I sure do! Faith and my own horse are both Paints. I do all the marketing for the book myself so it helps to have my own horse to use as a stand in as I film the footage! Take a tour of my social media channels, or my YouTube channel and you’ll notice my horse, Sissy, is pictured a lot and appears in my promotional videos for In The Rein as the lead horse character, Faith.

My own horse is a lot like Faith in that she is forever forgiving of my equestrian mishaps and loves me unconditionally. Also, I became Sissy’s owner when she was young and did a lot of her training myself (with the help of a good coach and a lot of horse training books) so the lessons learned through those experiences with my own horse helped bring Faith’s training to life in the book.

Here is the book trailer staring Sissy as Faith:

How are you and Devon similar and how are you different?
I think one similarity between the leading lady of ‘In The Reins’ and me is our unabashed love for horses. There’s no place I’d rather be than spending time with my horse. Just like Devon, I’m happiest when I am in the saddle.

As I wrote Devon’s story, a big difference between us unfolded as her character became far more risky in the saddle (and in love) than I think myself to be. Like it says in Devon’s intro video from my “Meet the Characters” series on YouTube, she is a little bit of a train wreck. Devon talks to herself in her mind a lot. I try to go about my day as clear-minded and present as possible. It isn’t always easy but thanks to meditation I definitely have a quieter mind than Devon does!

Meet wannabe cowgirl Devon Brooke here:

What can you relate to most with Devon?
I can relate to all the things that make up Devon Brooke (the good and the bad) because those things are inherently female. Devon Brooke represents all the mixed emotions that make up a woman; strength, independence, uncertainty, desire to find love and that little bit of neurosis I think a woman can harbor when her fantasies don’t exactly match up with reality. Devon’s judgment certainly becomes impaired over a cute guy in cowboy boots!

Do you and your horse show? If so what do you show in?
When I’m not writing or reading, I’m riding my horse. I am a member of the American Paint Horse Association and love competitively showing my Paint Horse. I recently moved to Arizona so I’ve just started to explore all the amazing horse show options that my new home has to offer. So far I’ve really enjoyed the Blue Ribbon Horse Shows at Arizona Horse Lovers Park!

The classes I usually show in are showmanship, western horsemanship and western pleasure. Recently, I’ve been back in my english saddle and am thinking about showing in some hunt seat classes again!

I’m sure fellow In The Reins lovers would love to know this as much as I would, do you have an idea of when your second book with be released? I know I can’t wait for its release date as well as the title/cover reveal! 
This is just the beginning! McKennon and Devon’s story definitely continues. I am working on the sequel to ‘In The Reins’ now. This is a horse book series of at least three! I hope to have the follow up to ‘In The Reins’ out in late 2016 or early 2017. The crazy thing is that the third book featuring the characters from ‘In The Reins’ is bucking up a storm in my mind and already taking shape on paper! I am sort of writing the second and third book simultaneously. I am toying with the idea of blogging the third book chapter by chapter so readers won’t have to wait as long once the sequel comes out. I am excited about the journey this series is taking me on!


About Carly Kade


Carly Kade is an Arizona-based equestrian author. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle! She writes fiction about horses, horse shows, western pleasure and a handsome cowboy or two. Her books are for people just like her … crazy about reading, horses and cute cowboys!
​In her free time, Carly enjoys competitively showing her registered Paint Horse, works on her next novel, reads voraciously, spends time with her husband and two adopted dogs, and loves exploring the great outdoors.

About ​In The Reins


A city-girl-gone-country, a handsome cowboy and a horse meet by fate on a southern farm. She’s looking for a fresh start and unexpectedly falls for the mysterious cowboy. But can a man with a deeply guarded secret open himself up to the wannabe cowgirl in the saddle next to him?

​Deeply romantic and suspenseful, In The Reins captures the struggle between letting life move forward and shying away from taking the reins. Passionate, captivating, and full of equine epiphanies, this is a love story sure to touch your inner cowgirl.

Synopsis: Cowboy McKennon Kelly was the last thing Devon Brooke wanted to focus on after finding herself suddenly single. Looking for a fresh start to life, city girl and journalist Devon just wanted to go back to her country roots and focus on building a relationship with her newly acquired equine partner Faith.

Devon finds companionship in handsome bull riding ranch hand JD and delicate Green Briar horse farm owner Sophia, both who advise Devon to keep her distance from McKennon and “mind her p’s and q’s” around the quiet and eerily peaceful stables. Devon thinks it shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid the Adonis cowboy, but after noticing his skills and expert ways with training horses, she figures it couldn’t hurt to get to know him a little bit … right?

Devon follows the guarded cowboy to a horse show, where she is unprepared to learn she may not be the cowgirl she thought she was. After a near-tragic incident, Devon begins to realize that the more time she spends with McKennon, the less she really knows about him (or horses, for that matter), and his mystery just keeps getting bigger. Who is he really, what is it that everyone doesn’t want her to know, and why is this tight-shirted, spur-jingling, weather-eyed cowboy all she can think about now?


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One thought on “Questions with Carly Kade

  1. Carly Kade says:

    My spurs are totally jingling. I am so honored to be your first author interview! I really enjoyed working with you. My favorite questions were how is Faith like my own horse and how am I similar/different from my leading lady. I can’t wait to share the sequel with you! Here’s to loving books and horses. I appreciate your partnership!
    Thank You,
    Carly Kade, Author of In The Reins


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