Last week, Heartland author Lauren Brooke told us about her childhood horse in England and her hopes of making a cameo appearance on a future episode of CBC's Heartland. This week, she answers more of your questions. Our thanks again to Ms. Brooke, working partners and Scholastic Canada!
Q: Do you like that your books were made into a TV show?
Lauren Brooke: I'm delighted! Especially as the TV show is so well-produced, with stunning scenery and a talented cast who fit the characters perfectly. Thanks, CBC!
Q: Did you base your books off real life cases or did you think of them yourself? Did you base the characters, both animal and human, off of people you know or did you make them up?
- Nicole Twerdy
LB: I get inspiration from reports of equine diseases and accidents, but also from situations that I have encountered myself during my horse-riding career. I check all veterinary details very carefully with my own veterinarian to make sure both the illnesses and Amy's responses are accurate. I never base human characters on real people - although I do use real names - but several horses I have known in real life have made it into the Heartland stories. Tara's pure white show-jumper Apollo belongs to a friend of mine!
Q: Do you have to do lots of research? Where did the idea for T-touch come from?
LB: I draw on my own experience as well as my collection of books on equestrianism, and the glorious internet (though you need to be careful about going to reliable sites). T-touch is a genuine technique used to strengthen a person's connection with a horse, and encourage them to relax under physical contact.
Q: In the Heartland book New Beginnings, Ben's last name was Stillwell but in the other books it is Stillman.
LB: Oh, I'm so sorry! This is a mistake.
Q: How many languages is Heartland written in?
LB: Heartland is published in fifteen different languages, including French, German, Finnish, Swedish, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Norwegian, Dutch, Japanese and Italian.
Q: Is Lauren writing more Heartland books? She should. Is she still writing more Chestnut Hill books?
LB: There are more Heartland Specials coming out this year. No plans to expand Chestnut Hill yet, but I'd love to do some more.
Q: Hey, I love the books. I was just wondering when you started to write Heartland books. Do you really enjoy it??
LB: I love writing Heartland! I'm as crazy about horses as I was when I was a little girl, when I used to make up long lists of pretend horses and give them all personalities. Now I get paid to do that, which feels like the best job in the world! I started working on Heartland in 1999.
Q: Hey, I was just wondering how many special editions do you plan on writing?
LB: As many as the publisher requests!
Q: Does just one person write all the books? I heard some other book series have several different writers.
LB: I come up with all the storylines, characters and equine situations; I then work with three experienced writers who take turns to write the scripts out in full.
Q: I would like to know why she has published so many more in French, and if she is planning on publishing them in English too. As of now, I have to get on to Amazon France to find out what's happening. (Yes, I do realize that I have an obsession!)
LB: The reason that there are more Heartlands in French than any other language is because the publishers in France have extended their schedule beyond anyone else's.
Q: When does Heartland: A Summer to Remember come out?
LOVE the books Please keep writing!
LB: May 2008, I think.
Q: Hi Lauren Brooke. I was wondering if you will be writing more Heartland books to add to the series. I hope you do! I was also wondering if you will make the Chestnut Hill series a TV show? I just love the Heartland series and I hope you write more Heartland books.
LB: There will be more Heartland specials coming in the next couple of years. No plans to make Chestnut Hill into a TV show at the moment, but watch this space!
Q: Will Amy and Ty will be together again in your books like in the good old days?
LB: I can't give away what happens in future stories! You'll have to keep reading!