What was the inspiration behind this series?
It sounds almost supernatural, but I woke up one morning with a burning, passionate urge to write this story. I’d been mulling around the idea of writing for a while, but in a very general way. That day, it was as though the muse seized me, shook me, and flung me into a chair. The story completely consumed me for the next nine months, which was problematic in a way because my kids were two and four years old, and I was very distracted. Entire scenes would unfurl before my eyes as though I was watching them on a life-size screen (even while I was driving. Yeah, that was safe.) I really felt as though I was living with a foot in each world for a while. I probably owe my kids an apology for that time in their lives!Which character spoke to you the most?
Initially I felt very connected with the main character, Tea (pronounced Tay-a). We share many traits and she was easy for me to write. As time went on, though, the character of her twin brother Seth took on a life of his own. He did things I didn’t expect him to, and I grew very attached to him. I’m planning to write a spin-off book soon that features Seth as the main character.What is one of your favorite scenes?
As in real life, I think it’s often the small, sweet moments in a story that touch you the most. There were a few scenes of tender interactions between Tea and her horses that made me smile with the memory of similar things I’d shared with my horse. And although there are plenty of steamy interactions between Tea and her love interest, Jaden, one of my favorites is quite an ordinary scene in the hayloft when they first realize they can’t be together, and they’re both being so careful with each other’s feelings.Your trilogy has been optioned for a major television series. Congratulations! How did that come about?
Thanks! Excuse me a moment while I dance around the room.What are you able to share with us about this project?
It all came about thanks to the miracle of Facebook. Shortly after Blaze of Glory was published, I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook (her daughter would later be featured on all three of my book covers, but that’s another story). My friend told me that she knew a TV producer who claimed he was going to make a TV series out of my book. At the time I thought there was a good chance he was, to put it politely, unbalanced, because I’d never heard of him and he had made no attempts to contact me. Then, several weeks later, he did, and we quickly came to an agreement.
I can’t tell you much, other than it will be a family drama with one-hour weekly episodes. Like the books, it’s set in the horse world, and should be on the air within a year and a half (or sooner. I’m hoping for sooner!)I am sure you are very busy with the television preparations. Are you working on anything else at this time?
I actually have very little to do with the TV show. Once you option off your rights (and optioning is kind of like renting with an option to buy), you basically give up any say in the process. I suppose it’s different for famous authors, they could probably demand to be involved. My lawyer warned me that the producer could take my story about a family in the horse world and turn it into a series about goats in space.You used to professionally ride horses. Can you tell us me about those days?
For now, my kids have talked me into writing a kids’ book with them. When I try to recall how that happened, all I remember is my son crying because he wanted to be on a book cover. Somehow (and I must’ve been really tired), I ended up agreeing to write a book about a boy and a horse. “How long could it take?” I reasoned. The answer to that is: much, much longer than I planned.
I was “that girl” when I was a kid – the one who sat in class drawing endless ponies in her notebooks. I’d been obsessed with horses since birth, but my family was completely mystified by my interest, so I had to work pretty hard to get involved in the horse world. I babysat, mowed acres of lawns, shoveled several tons of snow, and rode to the barn on my bike even though it was miles away. As you can imagine, that wasn’t the case for most of the kids I was competing against, once I was good enough to get into the show ring. After all that invested effort, it was like a dream come true for me to have a career working with horses.Do you miss it?
I didn’t just ride, because few people other than elite world-class riders can afford to spend all their time in the saddle. I taught riding lessons, managed a stable, and trained young horses. The training was my favorite part; every horse was different and I loved forming a rapport with each one. I was sometimes told “You’re being too patient with that horse,” if you can imagine such a thing. But the way I saw it, the horse had no timetable, no show schedule, and no choice about what he was being asked to do. If he wasn’t doing what I wanted, it was my responsibility to explain better. Horses are incredibly generous and forgiving creatures.
There were challenging aspects to that life, too. I’m not a winter person so the cold months were hard – there’s no hiding in a nice warm office when you work with horses. I also found it hard to see horse after horse sold to new owners, especially when I didn’t think they were a good match. I sometimes wonder whether I would have stayed in that field for the rest of my life, if I’d had the choice. But my accident and subsequent back surgery made it a moot point.
For years I missed it enormously, to the point that I tried to completely shut out any memory of that life. But now I’m overjoyed with my life as a writer and mom, and content to share my love of horses with my kids. Someday, when they’re a bit older and funds are a bit freer, I’d like to go back to riding for pleasure.What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I spent the first 37 years of my life convinced I’d never have children… so, basically until my daughter landed in my arms and blinked up at me.Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes! Right now I’m super excited about the Canadian horse, the breed I’ve been researching for my next book. They’re Canada’s national breed and were once very popular in North America, but then almost went extinct. Part of the reason for their rapid drop in numbers is that they were extremely prized as cavalry horses and thousands of them died in the US civil war, the Boer war and first World War.Thank you so much for your time!
I’m including an illustration done by the very talented Caroline Callender, the illustrator for my upcoming book, so you can see for yourselves how handsome they are.
Thank you Andrea!
Blaze of Glory
by M. Garzon
The first book in the popular trilogy, soon to be a major new television series!
Some fires can consume you.
Last year, I had it all. Two jumpers on the show circuit, a lot of wins, and a lot of attention - the good kind. But now I have nothing. My life is circling the drain. The only spark of light that exists for me is my new, forbidden passion. If my stepfather finds out, he will kill me. My twin brother, my only blood relative in the world, has already begged me not to. But I can't help myself. If it can't be horses, it has to be this...
Read an excerpt:
“What do you need, Tea?” he asked quietly.
The question caught me by surprise. I needed a lot of things, but what sprang to mind first was Jaden. The one thing I definitely could never have.
I gulped. “Just be my friend.”
“I will always be that.” He pulled into the lot where my car was parked. Julia and Teri were following behind us.
He turned to me. “Will you think about what I said? About telling Dec?”
Truthfully, I had filed away his request as soon as he’d made it, under the heading of ‘not in this lifetime’.
“Why is it so important to you?” I asked a question rather than lie to him.
“Because I think it will help to extirpate your feelings of guilt,” he said.
Only Jaden could use a word like ‘extirpate’ and not sound like a total geek, I thought with a smile. I turned toward him, still smiling, and found myself being pulled into a hug. I hugged him back fiercely, my heart breaking into a mad dash. His body was hard, but very warm. I pulled away first—I liked being in his arms far, far too much to stay there. This was something I’d have to get under control, and quickly.
M. Garzon rode horses professionally for ten years, until an injury prompted a career change. She returned to school and completed a BSc; then for good measure, an MBA. After several years of toiling as a business consultant, she turned to writing in a desperate bid to regain her sanity. A mom of two fabulous children, she lives in St Lazare, QC and considers herself extremely lucky to be a writer.
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