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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Author Interview with Nancy DiFabbio, author of Midnight Magic

Hi, everyone!

We will be joined today by Nancy DiFabbio, author of Midnight Magic.

About Nancy:

Connecticut equestrian Nancy DiFabbio dreamed of owning a horse as a child and now cares for a herd of five on her family’s property. Her favorite horse, a Morgan named Trinity, was the inspiration for MIDNIGHT MAGIC: Be Careful What You Wish For! Her next book, Saddle Up! And Live Your Dream will release in early 2012.

To learn more about Nancy and her books, please contact her at the links below:


Author Interview:

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Nancy! I am pleased to have you here today!!

What sort of research did you do to write Midnight Magic?

One of the first rules of writing is to “write what you know”. My protagonist, Mattie, experiences many of the same fears and desires that I did as a young teen, especially her passion for horses. I naturally drew on those memories when I created her. The horse in the story was inspired by my own little Morgan and my fascination with his breed. I had plenty of experience as a horse owner and equestrian to write factual and realistic descriptions of Mattie’s days working at the stable and participating in the horse show, but I did research the life of Justin Morgan, Figure, and the development of the Morgan breed.

Did you model your characters after real people? Did you model the plot on real events?

All of the characters are purely fictional creations, but I borrowed physical or personality traits from people I’ve known—or wish I’d known. The storyline is pure fantasy, although Justin Morgan and Figure did exist. There is plenty of documentation about Figure’s amazing feats and incredible genes.

As a YA author, who do you envision as your intended/target audience?

I’m gratified—but not surprised--to learn that Midnight Magic is finding an audience among adults as well as teens. Sometimes we all need to read something that frees our imagination and leaves us pleasantly satiated, like comfort food for the soul.

That being said, I think Midnight Magic will be among the favored books of 9-12 year old girls who haven’t (hopefully)yet reached the age when they are drawn to more mature topics, i.e. sex, drugs, drinking, etc.

What is your daily life like with your horses?

Although many people think horses want and need to be ridden daily, they don’t. They do need the freedom to roam around and throw in a buck or two as the spirit moves them, but humans are the ones who came up with the idea of saddling them up.

Of course I enjoy riding them, but only when the weather is mild. During my riding season, it is essential to keep them in some form of training so that they don’t forget their manners. Once the temperature dips and the days get shorter, I put on their blankets and let them revert to just being horses.

As large and powerful as they are, horses are really quite fragile and need expert, expensive, and arduous daily care to keep them happy and healthy.

I feed them grain, hay and water every morning in their stalls and then turn them out in their paddocks with another “flake” (serving) of hay for lunch. Sometime between breakfast and dinner, I clean out their stalls, washing their water buckets, replenishing them with fresh water. Between 3 and 4PM, weather permitting, I bring them back into the barn and serve dinner: grain and more hay. Before retiring to my own bed, I make a final barn check to make sure everyone’s safe and sound, dole out additional hay, fill water buckets, hand out a treat and ask for a goodnight kiss. Yes, I say, “Give mommy a kiss.” and each one will obediently duck their head so that I can kiss them.

Every six weeks, I administer a deworming medication to keep the intestinal parasites at bay and arrange for the blacksmith to trim or reshoe them. Twice a year the vet administers vaccinations and once a year the equine dentist comes to take care of their teeth.

Ideally, I also wedge in time to give them a good brushing—even if they’re not being ridden. Technically, their feet should be picked out every day to keep them healthy. Grooming allows an owner to detect ticks, injuries, or any medical problems that need to be addressed.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love the freedom to capture my thoughts whenever and wherever I am—as long as I have paper and pencil, laptop or voice recorder. It’s a blessing to be able to work from home. I can take care of my horses and family; I don’t need an expensive wardrobe; and I don’t have to commute. 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Nancy! It was a lot of fun getting to know you better!

Be Careful What You Wish For!
Nancy DiFabbio
iUniverse; September 8, 2011
$25.95 Hardcover; $15.95 Paperback; 230 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1450291477; Paperback ISBN: 978-1450291453
E-book ISBN: 1450291465

Can a Horse Steal a Young Girl’s Heart---and Soul?

Rummaging through her grandmother’s crowded attic, Mattie unearths a mesmerizing antique painting of the first Morgan horse ever bred. When a gorgeous, mysterious stallion appears at her grandmother’s pond for a twilight ride, Mattie can’t believe her luck. Intrigued by this wild horse, she sneaks out nightly for magical rides in Nancy DiFabbio’s mystifying novel MIDNIGHT MAGIC: Be Careful What You Wish For! (September 2011; iUniverse, $25.95). In the small town of Gull’s Nest, there has always been a whisper of something supernatural surrounding the women in Mattie’s family, making Mattie wonder if the meeting is pure coincidence.  Or has her constant wishing and praying for a horse awakened powers that may have brought the painting to life?

This modern-day fairytale follows the journey of an ordinary girl as she develops into a confident equestrian.  Through her love of horses, Mattie embraces the elements of healthy living – eating right, exercise, and self-worth.  DiFabbio deftly juxtaposes this positive message with a hint of Mattie’s mystifying talents, offering entertainment as well as a relatable role model for young readers.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good book, but I hope it's not preachy. Kids are smart, and can figure out when they're being lectured.

    Mac Campell


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