April 14, 2011

In The Spotlight: Nell Walton - Author - "The Bone Trail"

One Day At A Time is pleased to introduce Nell Walton author of the "THE BONE TRAIL"


Nell Walton is an avid horsewoman and also owns two wild horses, both of which came from a herd near Elko, NV. She is also the founder and managing editor of the online equestrian news magazine, The AllHorses Post. She has degrees in journalism and biology from the University of Arkansas, spent many years as a professional journalist and worked as an intern for former President Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas. She lives in East Tennessee on a small horse farm with her husband, four horses, one donkey, two cats and two dogs. The Bone Trail is her first novel.

We are honoured to share a few words with the author...please, Nell, what is it you wish to share with our readers??

Humor in Modern Fiction
by Nell Walton

The last few books I have read have been filled with so much angst and despair that I was left feeling completely deflated when I reached “The End.” Have novelists lost their sense of humor (or have editors)? It seems it has become so important to generate negative feelings of loss, struggle, hatred and fear that we writers forget it is very often beneficial to have some element of comedy relief in the story, just so the reader won’t feel like hanging himself upon reaching the final page!

I have a scene in The Bone Trail that I simply love for its humor. In it two of the main characters, Kate and Ludlow, have taken a long, rather arduous journey on horseback and are going to spend the night in a cabin. Kate is a horsewoman, although she hasn’t done much riding in a while. Anyone who has ridden a horse for long periods without being in shape for it can attest to the pain it can cause. Once they arrive at the cabin, Ludlow, who is a master horseman, goes into check the cabin then comes out to talk to Kate about what he has found:

“We lucked out,” he (Ludlow) said, coming to stand beside Kate and Dozer (her horse). “The place is actually pretty clean this time. Let’s put the horses in the shed. They’ve got hay in there; my friends usually keep some for me as I come up here now and again.”

Kate sat unmoving for a minute, then gritted her teeth and swung her right leg over Dozer’s rump. However, she didn’t get her leg up high enough and it got caught up on the cantle. She struggled to get the leg off the cantle then wound up losing her balance. She fell practically on top of Ludlow, who also lost his balance and they both hit the ground…..

Kate found herself next to Ludlow on the ground. He was lying motionless, with his eyes closed, as if unconscious. His hat had fallen off and was lying a few feet away, as were the saddlebags. She poked him hard in the ribs and he gasped and sat up. “Quit playing possum and help me up,” she said.

“Well, that’s some kind of thanks I get for breaking your fall. I think I have whiplash.”

“If you hadn’t been standing in the way you wouldn’t have gotten falled on. It’s your own fault.”

“I don’t think there is such a term as ‘falled on.’ A journalist should know that.”

“Never mind about that. Help me up,” she said grumpily.

I love this scene for its humor and how it brings out characterization of two people who could have been portrayed as unrelentingly serious and despairing. But, really that’s not how life is. Without humor, I don’t think it is possible to conquer despair, and I wish writers would use humor more in fiction to lighten things up a bit.

You can find Nell at:

The AllHorses Post
The Bone Trail
Twitter:  @nellwal
Facebook AllHorsesPost

Thank you VERY much Nell for your words and for allowing One Day At A Time the opportunity to review your book for you~!!

About "The Bone Trail"...

Inspired by actual events, The Bone Trail is the story of investigative journalist and horsewoman, Kate Wyndham, who is sent to northern Nevada to do a story on the disappearance of two wild horse advocates. When Wyndham attempts to gain information from the FBI and local authorities she is stonewalled.

Kate turns to Jim Ludlow, a local rancher who lives on an Indian Reservation near where the advocates disappeared. Ludlow, a Shoshone Indian horse “whisperer” agrees to try to help Wyndham and they begin a search for answers that may cost them everything the hold dear – it may even cost them their lives.

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