Do you like animals, romance, and adventure? Today, I am bringing you an interview with author Maty Kit Caelsto. Mary never grew out of the phase of being a "horse crazy girl". She has channeled this energy into being a multi-genre author writing fantasy, romance, and women’s fiction. She’s fulfilling her dream of “working on a horse farm and writing romance” by publishing equestrian books for others who haven't grown out of being "horse crazy", while caring for her own horses. She lives in the Ozarks with six very spoiled and opinionated rescue horses, two pet pigs, a large flock of poultry and enough cats to qualify her as a crazy cat lady.
She's convinced three of the best things in the world are the smell of a sun warmed horse, the smell of leather tack, and making sure to hug her horses every single day.
Tell me about yourself
I’m in the process of rediscovering who I am, so while I could give you the stock biography that’s at the end of each book, instead, I’ll tell you I’m an old soul trying to remember the wisdom I’d known once before. I live in the Ozarks with my partner, my herd of horses, flock of poultry, and more than enough cats to seriously qualify me as a crazy cat person. I’m a tech geek and offer editing and technical services to authors, as well as work as a training and tech support person. I’m a fibromyalgia warrior and avid disability advocate for those with chronic illness.
How long ago did you write your first book?
My first book was written during gym class (I hated playing basketball when no one would pass me the ball) in high school. That was so long ago that I’d have to tell stories of cassette tapes and phones connected to the wall, not to mention crossing shag carpet to change channels.
I see you write multiple genres? Do you have a favourite?
My favorite genre is fantasy. Yes, I’ve been published in romance longer, and there’s a certain feel-good satisfaction like eating the best chocolate cake when you finish either reading, or writing, a romance novel. But ever since I found a copy of 'Magic’s Price' featuring the very beautiful Vanyel and his companion (horse) on the cover, well that hit the “boy crazy” and “horse crazy” buttons of my teenaged self, I’ve enjoyed fantasy fiction.
I also write equestrian women’s fiction or what I’d like to call “horse books for horse crazy girls who never grew out of the phase.”
Can you tell me about your latest release?
'Flying Changes' starts the Cardinal Oaks series, and releases on June 24. Zahra has a farm of her own and is dealing with taking care of things without any help, her feelings for her best friend, Rose, and riding in a new discipline to her, three-day eventing, which combines dressage, show jumping, and cross country. Rose has encountered some trouble with her job and now everything is up in the air, including their friendship.
Being a fellow animal lover myself, my books always feature a family pet. Why do you think animals in stories appeal to so many readers?
I think because many of us can connect with having an animal companion. When you figure there are millions of pet dogs and pet cats here in the US, not to mention worldwide, a love of animals is something that connects us.
Are you a planner or a panster?
I am a reformed planner. I used to plan meticulously. Now, I’m a complete, unashamed, pantser. I let the characters tell me what they want to do and where the story needs to go. For me, I find it flows better when I’m not enforcing my will on these characters I’ve created. They never stuck to the plot I’d crafted anyway.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My brain, honestly. I mentioned I’m a disability advocate. Part of that is being an advocate for those with mental illnesses and reducing the stigma. I am in a place in my life where I can finally process all the stuff I shoved down for about three decades, and it has been quite the journey. My anxiety and PTSD jumbles my brain sometimes, and that stops me from writing. So for me, mental health care is writing care.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A unicorn. The perfect blend of fantasy/magic and horses, which covers pretty much everything I write. It either has a horse in it, or some kind of magic, or both!
What advice would you give a new author?
Follow your heart. All that marketing, sales, “must do”, “write to market” advice? Forget about it…for now. Write the story you want to write. Tell it in the way you want to tell it. Then, you can edit and look at how you can market it. There wasn’t an “equestrian women’s lit” genre when I started. I may still be the only one in this genre, but you know what? People are finding the books and loving them. They’ll love yours too.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
My partner and I love to watch television. I just got internet that wasn’t bandwidth limited (hello rural living!) so we’re catching up with streaming things through Amazon Prime, as well as other free streaming options on the Roku. I love to garden, work with my horses, or just annoy them by kissing their noses, spoil my pet pigs, and of course, indulge the cats their every whim.
A big thankyou to Mary for sharing with us all. I can certainly relate to telling stories of cassette tapes, phones tethered to the wall, and walking across the loungeroom to change the TV channel. Once again, showing my age lol.
If you would like to check out Mary's work, click on the links below.