The first thing I thought when I received the email saying Greenhawk had decided to carry Objects in Mirror was Yay!
The second thing was, My books will be right beside Shelley Peterson’s!
As a Canadian author of equestrian-themed Young Adult, being beside Shelley Peterson is a very good place to be. Her books have an impressive track record of capturing the imagination and hearts of young readers – especially those who love horses.
I have always said – to the point where my husband and my very patient sales representatives at Red Deer are probably sick of hearing it – that riders are also readers, and young riders can never get enough horse books to read. This was definitely true of me – I read the same books over and over again and, yes, it was partly because I loved them, but also partly because there just weren’t enough horsey books out there to satisfy my reading appetite. And I don’t know if any of the horse books I read as a young adult were Canadian, but I think not.
Picking up Abby Malone several years ago – when Objects in Mirror was still just a story in the back of my mind – reminded me of the magic a horse story can hold over a young reader (and older readers too!). I think it reinforced the idea that there was an audience who would want to read the story I held in my imagination.
So, now, to have my books being sold next to Shelley Peterson’s books is surreal and wonderful.
The book business is not like many other businesses. It’s not a case of Pepsi and Coke, and the customer is only going to choose one. In fact, it’s more like once they’ve had a Pepsi, the customer will want to try a Coke. Once a reader has read a good book, they finish and immediately think “What can I read next that I’ll like just as much?”
Realistically, authors can’t write as quickly as our customers can read, so we need them to find other stories, books, authors, they’ll enjoy while we work on our next offering. We need them to stay interested and engaged and reading so they’ll be ready for our next book.
In this way, I don’t believe at all that I’m in competition with any other author – Canadian, or YA, or horse-themed – and, similarly I don’t think I’m in competition with Shelley Peterson. What I do hope is some readers who’ve liked her work, might discover mine, and any readers I’ve reached who don’t already know about hers, will give it a try.
So, competition, no. But happy to be in her company? Absolutely!