Nancy D. Brown
Website & Places you can find me online
“What a Trip” www.Nancydbrown.com
Writing Horseback www.writinghorseback.com
Lodging Editor lodging.uptake.com/blog
Facebook Fan page: Writing Horseback
Follow Nancy on Twitter: @Nancydbrown and @ridinghorseback
Where I am
San Francisco Bay Area
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I grew up outside of San Francisco, California. My first horse lived behind my house in a 100 acre pasture owned by the water company. If I wasn’t at a horse show, you could find me riding in the Oakland hills or on Mount Diablo. After Journalism school I worked in the public relations industry until I jumped the media fence and became a professional travel writer and lodging editor.
As I write about luxury and adventure travel, I thought it would be fun to join my passion for horses with travel.
You have combined your two loves, traveling and horses. How were you able to turn that into a career?
For anyone who is reading this and wants to be a travel writer, my words of advice, “Don’t quit your day job.” The days of $1 per word magazine articles are diminishing. I write on-line and in print and I’m constantly traveling to review properties. This doesn’t leave much time for horseback riding. I also have a husband, two teenagers and a Labrador retriever who all need attention. My life and career keep me juggling many balls in the air; however, I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. I love what I do and feel that I am blessed.
Which came first, travel or horses?
Horses have been in my life since grade school. I cleaned many stalls and took hours of riding lessons before my parents gave in and bought me a horse.
Your readers can probably relate to the fact that I turned down a European vacation with my parents in high school because I didn’t want to be away from my horse.
While I’ve since sold all of my horses, my saddle sits in our garage.
How many different places have you mounted up?
Wow! That’s a difficult question. Do mechanical bulls count?
Out of all of the places you have ridden, which one is your favorite?
Riding at Ricochet Ridge Ranch in Mendocino County, California has got to be on my top 10 list. I rode an amazing endurance horse on Ten Mile Beach and in the forest in the same morning.
Which one would you be least likely to recommend?
I was really looking forward to horseback riding in Cozumel, Mexico, but the tour company never responded to my e-mail.
How does equine culture differ in some of the places you have visited?
In many countries, horses are seen as beasts of burden or even a food source. I was surprised to see horses grazing on the side of the road in rural Roatan, Honduras with no fences around.
Is there a breed you prefer above all others?
Personally, I’ve always owned quarter horses. I’m looking forward to riding a Fjord horse in Norway!
Who are your main literary influences?
I read my share of Walter Farley Black Stallion books in my youth, along with the Western Horseman Magazine. Jon Krakauer held my attention with Into Thin Air and Into the Wild.
What is your favorite book ever?
One of my favorite books, Cowboys are My Weakness, was written by Pam Houston.
Do you (or did you) have a specific animal that is the muse behind your work?
What effect do you think the Internet has had on writing?
The internet has given voice to a lot of closet writers. The bar to blogging is very low. Anyone can start a blog. Writing quality, fresh content is what sets a successful blogger apart.
I’m not sold on the idea of writing a lot of low quality content simply for the sake of blogging on a daily basis. I prefer to write one, well written post a week. Besides, I can’t read daily content for some many wonderful blogs. I’d never get any work done.
Has the Internet had an effect on your writing?
I like to think that the internet has opened up my work to a larger audience. I can say, personally, that Twitter has introduced me to a world-wide following of fellow travel and equestrian bloggers. If I had the time, it would be amazing to put together a horseback riding tour, solely from the input of the equine Twitterverse.
Working on anything new?
Writing Horseback is a brand new project for me. I would love for your readers to send me their lodging and horseback riding suggestions that are open to the public. I look forward to learning about the equestrian blogs that your readers follow and hope that folks leave me comments on posts. Reader feedback is very important to me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce Writing Horseback and “What a Trip” to your readers.
More to Come
Thanks to Nancy for answering the interview and sharing her work. Be sure to subscribe to her horse travel website to keep up with her travels.
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.