Interview with Amy Maltman

What's the story behind Ride Every Stride?
In my final year of high school (1993!), I took a class called OAC Writer's Craft. Our teacher handed us a list of project ideas for our Independent Study, which would comprise a large percentage of our grade, but I didn't want to do any of them. I wanted to start a novel. He gave me permission, and later said he anticipated about 10 pages. I believe I turned in around 75. Surprise, Mr. Chiappetta!

Entitled "State of Grace" back then, I didn't work on it again until I graduated from the University of Guelph in 1997. I wrote in longhand while working at Torrey Pines for Eric Lamaze, and ultimately finished the first draft while working as an office temp in 1998. The manuscript sat during my 4 years of Pharmacy school and during my brief career as a pharmacist. I picked it up on and off after becoming ill in 2005. Because of my physical limitations, it took me longer than most to get it ready for publication.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I live with chronic pain and fatigue, and my activities are extremely limited. Writing is an escape. It also gives me a way to vicariously enjoy things I can no longer do (such as riding), and it helps to pass many long hours that would otherwise be spent staring at the TV (which I do enough of as it is!).
Describe your desk
My lap!
I work from my recliner, with my feet on my ottoman to ease leg spasms and cramps. I need the backrest, neck/head support, and the armrests for pain and weakness reasons. It also allows my cat Sirius to fulfill his duties as Assistant Editor. He's inevitably curled up with me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Just kidding.
(not really)
When I'm actually awake, I spend most of my time watching too much TV (True Blood, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Survivor, Six Feet Under, The Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, and Better Call Saul are among my favourites) and too many movies and/or TV shows on Blu-ray.
I also hang out with my pets, go to hockey games during the OHL season, play World of Warcraft, and engage in social media.
And, of course, I read.
What are you working on next?
I have preliminary ideas for a sequel to Ride Every Stride, as well as possibly a prequel.
Right now, though, I'm feeling more of a pull towards a totally unrelated idea, inspired by a dream I had. I describe it as a combination of Chronicles of Narnia, Outlander, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
The problem is finding time when I'm alert enough and the pain is tolerable enough to be able to concentrate and write. I hope it won't be another 15-20 years before the next one's ready!
Who is your favorite author?
This is an easy question for me!
Hands down, my favourite author (and my idol) is J.K. Rowling, because of her philanthropy, generosity, and wisdom as much as for her writing. She's inspirational in many ways. Also, the world of Harry Potter provides me with countless hours of escape from pain, fatigue and despair, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Which riders do you cheer for?
If I answered this with all the riders of whom I'm a fan, the list would be immense, with riders from around the world. Instead, I'll answer it with those I cheer for the most and loudest.

My all-time and sentimental favourites are Ian Millar (my childhood hero) and Eric Lamaze (my old boss).
Naturally, in any competition, I want to see Canadians win (Ian, Eric, Tiffany Foster, Yann Candele, Ben Asselin etc.).

Outside of Canada, my favourite rider is Ireland's Darragh Kenny, not just because of his riding but also his attitude, work ethic, and the love and respect he has for his horses.
In fact, I'm a fan of the Irish Team in general (and of the Irish Sport Horse, which is why I included one in Ride Every Stride). Maybe it's my Irish blood!

I love the girl power in the US right now, such as Beezie Madden, Jessica Springsteen, and Georgina Bloomberg (whom I also admire as a fellow animal rights advocate). For the American men, I particularly like McLain Ward (I could watch him ride all day) and Kent Farrington.

An honorary mention goes to Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, the actress :)
What do you read for pleasure?
It really depends on my mood.
I've been reading a lot of fantasy and dystopian YA lately, most recently James Dashner's Maze Runner trilogy.
My all-time favourite genre is mystery/suspense, such as Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, Greg Iles, and now Robert Galbraith (aka. J.K. Rowling). And I've read the Harry Potter series four times now, I believe.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried submitting an earlier draft to traditional publishers and agents. It got rejected, and now I'm thankful for that because I ended up drastically improving its quality. Once I felt it was ready (including hiring an editor), I didn't want to take the time required to find an agent, then a publisher. After all, it had already been 17 years since I finished the first draft!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Kindle Paperwhite with a stand. I'd prefer to be old-school and read paperbacks, but my hands and arms cramp and spasm from holding books, and even from holding the Kindle for any amount of time.
Published 2015-08-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ride Every Stride
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 115,820. Language: Canadian English. Published: March 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Equestrian
Jed Carver flees across the country and finds refuge in his new job at a prestigious stable, committing himself to his goal – the Canadian Equestrian Team. Jed is confident in his riding ability, but the obstacles outside of the ring could be his undoing. Will his dark secrets come to light? Can he ride every stride until his dream comes true? Or will his demons unseat him?