Today I’m welcoming Eileen Watkins to the #NoContact Book Tour! I know Eileen through her cat mysteries, but now she’s back with a heartwarming rescue book that centers on a horse. Well, a horse and two women who rescue each other. The new novel is Reboot Ranch, and I’ll let Eileen take it from here.
Tell us about your book!
My latest is REBOOT RANCH, a novel about a woman and her teenaged niece working together to start a horse-rescue farm. Both recently have gone through traumatic personal events, but they share a love of animals and find new purpose in this goal. Disappointed and even betrayed in the past, they learn to trust each other and even to accept help from the new men in their lives. I was inspired by a friend who single-handedly founded a horse rescue in Pennsylvania, and shared with me some dramatic tales of her experiences. I’ve tried to make the book entertaining for both adult and YA readers, while still pointing out the conditions in modern society that produce so many “expendable” horses, and create an urgent need for these rescue farms.
Are you working on anything now? Is your process or routine different?
I also write the Cat Groomer Mystery series for Kensington Publishing, and since the outline for #6 in that series has just been accepted, I’m currently working on that. The title, unless it’s changed somewhere down the line, will be NIGHT OF THE WOLF-CAT. (My next book out, in February 2021, will be CLAW & DISORDER.) Since I’ve been working from home, anyway, my routine has changed very little, except that I have more time to devote to my writing and fewer distractions. The down side is that I had planned to take part in a lot of promotional events this year, from major conferences to local book fairs, and as you noted, all of them either have been or probably will be canceled.
Do you think your writing will be changed by this crisis?
So far, I am not dealing with the pandemic in any of my plots. Being an optimist, I am hoping it will be fairly short-lived, and I would rather ignore it than write details that will later date my books as being set in “that period.” If I wrote science fiction or fantasy, it might be different, but cozy books are supposed to take place in a pretty conventional world. (Spoiler alert, WOLF-CAT is going to feature some people wearing masks, but not to keep anyone safe—just the opposite!)
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when we’re free to be social again?
Visit a good friend in the next county whom I haven’t seen since mid-March—luckily, she’s stayed healthy, too. I was taking part in a four-person critique group that meets at the local library, and although we’ve been exchanging material online we’re itching to meet in person again. I’m happy that at least my riding stable has re-opened for lessons, since I need my “horse fix” once a week. And they’re also the perfect size to enforce social distancing!
Thanks so much, Eileen! And just for you cat people out there: Gone, Kitty, Gone is Eileen’s most recent kitty mystery.