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Terri Talks

Terri Farley
Wabi Sabi

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Frequently Asked Saturday Questions

Q: Are you okay? I've heard the weather in your part of Nevada is terrible!

A: We're fine. We've had lots of snow and driving is pretty much impossible, but the levee that broke is some distance from our house. My son the journalist is out covering the story & of course I have mama-concerns for him, but the rest of us are safe and warm -- even Zito the dog. She's recovering from a morning snow run by napping with her icy pads in front of the heater. She's not a good sharing girl, either!

Q: I know there are Phantom Stallion movies! Where can I find them?

A: So far, there is no go-to-the-theatre-or-video-store movie of the PHANTOM STALLION or WILD HORSE ISLAND stories.
You might be thinking of the YouTube newscasts of the REAL Phantom Stallion or the movies made by fans. You can find them all here: http://youtube.com/results?search_query=Phantom+stallion&search=Search

Q: This summer there was a cool interview with you and I wanted to read it again, but the link I saved doesn't work any more.
A: The newspaper's archives can be tricky to navigate, so I'll post the story here:
'Stallion' author weaves a wondrous life
By Erin Breen

She has spent most of her life in classrooms, more than 25 years of it teaching high school students. Her heart is in helping them learn and her imagination pulls her to adventure.

"When I was very young, I used to daydream about horses," Terri Farley told me as she took a break from writing her next young adult novel, expected to be just as big a hit as the 24 that have come before.

"I grew up in L.A., but when I moved to Nevada and got involved with the wild horses, that's when I really felt like I was home."

It began with a cattle drive years ago and a notion that she'd seen a mysterious Phantom Stallion in the mist.

"The story had me in its grips," she recalled. "I let the characters just talk to me and I kept stacks and stacks of notes. And when the opportunity came, I couldn't wait to write the story."

That story became a series of books called "The Phantom Stallion," published by Harper-Collins. The books have sold more than a million copies worldwide.

"In all the stories about horses and ranches I read when I was a kid, the main character was always a boy," Farley said. "So I made my main character a girl. And she's one tough cowgirl. I get a lot of fan mail from all over the world, girls who love horses and love my stories and some even want to come to Nevada someday just to see the wild horses."

She added that kids seem to like the idea of the grounded life you lead on a ranch: a hard-working one, filled with real-life adventures and real-life consequences.

"It's flattering to me that kids write to me, that they talk to each other about the horses and that they get involved with important issues."

After posting concerns about the slaughter of wild horses in Nevada on her own Web site, Farley -- who is married to Gazette-Journal columnist Cory Farley -- received more than a thousand letters from her young fans. She sent them on to Senator Harry Reid as a vote for protecting wild horses.

"I'm not that different here, I guess," she said. "But in New York, I'm unique. I can write, I have ridden with the horses and know the lifestyle, and I really do understand kids."

With her first series under her belt, she's working on the second. The first book, about "Wild Horse Island," is set in Hawaii and is just hitting bookshelves.

Farley may not be in the classroom any longer, but she's still very much teaching kids the importance of reading. She's setting the kind of example every teacher hopes to set. And she's doing the work writers dream of doing every day.

Now that's truly weaving yourself a wondrous life.


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