Seven Tears Into the Sea
       Phantom Stallion Series

Terri Talks

Terri Farley
Wabi Sabi

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Questions from Readers

1. When were you born?

May 10 -- I don't give out the year, because this is one of those questions they ask when they're verifying identity and stuff like that!

2. Can you tell me about your childhood? Where did you grow up? What interests did you have? Did you like horses/mustangs at an early age?

I lived in a suburban neighborhood outside Los Angeles within a block of both my aunt and my grandmother -- so you can see why my books have a lot to do with family connections. I've always been interested in horses and all kinds of animals. I think this was magnified because I was allergic and couldn't be with them without "paying" by long nights of trying to catch my breath. That doesn't mean I didn't have pets, but they had to be hairless! I had chameleons, newts, salamanders, and of course fish, until I outgrew asthma. Then I started working in a stable-- trading one hour for cleaning stalls for one hour of riding.

3. When you were in high school, what classes did you take?

In high school I took a standard load, plus psychology, creative writing, journalism, newspaper and yearbook. I loved to write and was once accused of plagiarism by a new teacher who wasn't familiar with my work. I had to bring samples of my other writing and then sit in a room and "produce" something of equal quality as a test! Good preparation for future deadlines, but it sure hurt my feelings! Oh, I passed that teacher's test, by the way!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Before 2006

Some of you eager readers have asked me to post a schedule for the rest of the books I have coming out this year. I'm flattered by your affection for my work & excited you love books so much.
Here's the schedule, but the dates are approximate because some booksellers put the books out a little earlier or later.

FIREFLY November 1

The cover art for SECRET STAR isn't available for you to view, yet, but you can find the beautiful Greg Call paintings for MOUNTAIN MARE and FIREFLY on my PhantomStallion.com website.

Enjoy the last days of July,

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Friday, July 22, 2005

The Things You'll Take With You

Dear Readers,
In book 22 of the Phantom series, you'll meet a cultural anthropologist named Dr. Mora O'Malley. She's in northern Nevada to study a legendary horse when she notices Samantha Forster's horsehair bracelet and comments on it as an artifact.
Now, the dictionary defines artifacts as any objects made, modified or used by people. We think of anthropologists finding artifacts and making guesses about civilizations, but we don't always wonder what those objects meant to the people who touched them.
What if a white shell customized to make a horn was found on a faraway island? Was it sounded to gather people together? Who blew it? An old man or a young woman? Was Shell-Keeper an honor handed down from mother to daughter? Did she wind flowers in her hair before summoning her tribe? And for what? A wedding? A war? An announcement that would change their lives?
When I visit museums, these are the kinds of questions I ask the tools, toys and jewelry in their glass cases. Since so many of you like "what-if" ing, you might enjoy doing it, too.
Which artifacts do I want archeologists to find near my bones hundreds of years from now? I don't know, but I don't think it's creepy (after all, we're talking so far in the future, no one who knew me would be around). They might find my dog's leash, my wedding ring, a small scrap of leather from one of my kids' art projects, a sharp, yellow pencil or a shard of very old perfume bottle I dug up in my garden which still smells faintly of lavender. And what conclusions would they draw about me?
It's fun and kind of revealing to play this game with friends. I remember one wanted archeologists to know her faith by her necklace with a little gold cross on it. One friend wants to be found gripping his hand-held telescope. Sad to say, a certain teacher said she'd be satisfied to be found with a plastic Walmart bag, and no, she wasn't a very good teacher!
I'm pretty sure Sam would love for her skeletal wrist to still be wearing a bracelet of silvery horsehair from her beloved Phantom. That would tell researchers everything they needed to know about her life and her heart.
Off to work on book 23,

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Visiting Horse Sanctuaries

HI --
Many readers are in the midst of vacation and have asked me how they can see wild horses. It's always tricky to plan a viewing of mustangs running free, but I'm listing some sanctuaries which have taken in "unadoptable" or other special horses. If I haven't listed one near you, don't despair because many of these sites have additional listings, too.









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Friday, July 15, 2005


Q: Your book SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA by far the best book I have ever read. The ending made me want to know more & I cant help but wonder if Zach actually liked Gwen or is just plain cruel. Also Jesse, one of my favorite characters, he seems so real but so like Prince Charming - he isnt real. I think everyone needs to read this book. It is the greatest. I could not put it down I just wanted to keep reading. I hope you write more books like this & I want to know where you got your idea!

A: I'm so happy that you enjoyed SEVEN TEARS. I loved writing it. I've been fascinated with the legend of the selkie for half my life and the story has been brewing for a long time. I heard the legend from a girl in college who'd spent some time in Scotland and later I talked with Nevada's state historian who happens to be a bagpiper and Celtic expert about it -- and the story was born!
I hope to write more about Celtic legends on my weblog soon because lots of readers are curious! In the meantime, here's a link you can cut and paste into your browser to read a cool review of SEVEN TEARS : http://www.nimblespirit.com/html/seven_tears_into_the_sea_revie.html
"Seawizard" on Amazon.com really "got" what I was trying to do, too, saying I'd written a story about what is real and what isn't.
This is part of what makes writing fun!
Happy July,

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Animal Mom

Summer heat is turned on high where I live -- 101 degrees yesterday and today's supposed to be "warmer" -- so I was out riding my bike at daybreak before I slip into my office to write.
Toward the end of my ride I saw a young (let's say adolescent --not a baby calf, but not grown up, either) Hereford cow at a creek which forks off the Truckee River. She was standing in the shallows licking a wet rock.
Though SHE had plenty to drink, it reminded me to check my animals' water and shade when I got home and I hope you'll do the same for your critters. You might even try adding an ice cube to your pets' water bowls like I do for Zito the pup!
Enjoy your day!

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Friday, July 08, 2005

End of the Trail

Here's a link to one of the best things I've seen published about the legal push to erase wild horses from the range:
Click here.

Written by author Deanne Stillman in the July 4 Boston Globe, it begins with the story of Comanche, a mustang ridden in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
You may have heard Comanche's story before, but Deanne Stillman does a great job of following America's mustangs from that day in 1876 when about 2 million wild horses roamed the West up to 1950, when there were 50,000 to today, when there are perhaps 28,000 wild horses. It doesn't take a math whiz to see where we're headed.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wild Horse Spirit

Raking and shoveling manure is fun when you're surrounded by rescued wild horses. That's one thing I learned at the Wild Horse Spirit sanctuary. Last week I helped out for a few hours and met Bobbi and Betty, who run the sanctuary and Amanda, a great young woman who volunteers many hours each week to work with the horses, even though she is going to school and has a full-time job.
These three women (and their friends) have put their hearts, hands, brains and money into saving wild horses.Although they believe wild horses should run free, these horses might not have survived if they continued living in the wild.
On their website WildHorseSpirit.org you'll read some amazing real-life rescue stories which make fiction seem tame.
I have to admit Red was my favorite (you can see him on Wildhorsespirit.org's "Meet the Spirits" page) because he really kept an eye on me, standing between Bobbi and Amanda whenever we stopped to work. He did let me brush him later, though, and so did pretty Mona.
If you're ever in Reno, Nevada, the sanctuary is only a few minutes from the airport and visitors are welcome.

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Friday, July 01, 2005

July 4th Fry Bread

Answering requests for recipes mentioned in the Phantom Stallion books and SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA is fun. Since this is a holiday weekend celebrating freedom, I thought it would be a good time to share a multi-ethnic dish (Native American & Mexican with good-ol-ranch food touches)which I had most recently at a Paiute-Shoshone reservation basketball team fundraiser. Oh yum!

Here are two versions of the Indian Fry Bread recipe mentioned in RED FEATHER FILLY, pages 46-47. Jake's family brings it to a spur-of-the-moment neighborhood dinner. If you live in the Western or Southwestern U.S., you may know about Fry Bread and Indian Tacos.
The first recipe is the most traditional. It's easy, but takes about an hour to prepare.
Warning: If you rush, you'll get mushy, inedible blobs.

The second recipe is totally easy & quick but not quite the dish Jake's family brought to the potluck!

Fry Bread #1
You may use this bread two ways -- folded like a tortilla for "Indian Tacos" with meat,bean & cheese filling or as a sweet snack --drizzled with honey or sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar.
PLEASE be careful with the frying step. I'd advise you have someone who is experienced in deep-frying nearby.
Hot oil is dangerous.

3 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (takes 3 tsp. at my house, because of high altitude)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water or milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or shortening
Oil or shortening, for deep frying (remember to be careful)

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil and knead until smooth. Rub oil or shortening over dough. Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes.Either pat or roll out enough dough to fit in the palm of your hand in a circle about 1/8-inch thick --like a thick tortilla. Deep fry in hot oil or shortening. Top with refried beans,meat and cheese or, for dessert, use cinnamon-sugar or honey. This is supposed to make 10 to 12 Fry Breads -- I often come up short because I don't roll them out enough.
Fry Bread #2
You can get a similar taste (but not the puffy texture) by spraying a cookie sheet with nonstick spray, then putting a buttered flour tortilla, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar on the cookie sheet and baking it for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Have fun!

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