March 13, 2008
Author Interview: Patricia Guthrie - "In the Arms of the Enemy"
This week we have a treat - the first of an occasional series of author interviews.
Meet Patricia A. Guthrie, author of the just-released romantic-suspense novel, IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY, (Light Sword Publishing.)
Guthrie, a dog and horse lover from south suburban Illinois who's trained and showed her prized Collies, and has also broke and trained horses, sets her first novel in the field of horseracing. The premise is one that you see occasionally in the news - the death of a prized racehorse, insurance scams, and murder.
In IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY, horseman Adam Blakely goes undercover to find who killed a prize racehorse and horse trainer, only to fall in love with another trainer - and his prime suspect, Maggie McGregor. The pair uncovers an insidious insurance scam and must learn to trust each other before they are the ones exterminated.
Horses, of Course
Having horses as the theme of her first novel was natural for Guthrie, who's owned horses for about 25 years. It also was a way for her to bring attention to the dark side of the horse world. She dedicates the book "to those horses lost to man's inhumanity and greed, and to those humanitarians whose mission it is to save and protect them."
"I can't remember not having a horse," she says. "The seed for the novel was planted years ago when a scandal broke out in the horse show world about some sleazy characters killing show horses for insurance money. Since then, I've heard stories about racehorses receiving the same treatment. I had to write about it."
In the book, horse lovers will meet: Black Autumn, a 3-year-old thoroughbred, and candidate for the Kentucky Derby. He and his trainer are found murdered. Playboy, a bay quarter horse gelding about 20, who'd been used as a track pony until he was abandoned and rescued by the heroine; and Black Autumn's sister Bluebird, a 4-year-old thoroughbred mare who belongs to the hero. There are other horses, too, although they don't play a prominent part in the story, Guthrie says.
While Guthrie is now a full-time writer, her own background can serve as creative fodder for dozens of stories. She studied music in New York, sang opera for many years here and abroad, and was soloist in a prominent cathedral. She was a music therapist and taught music for the Chicago Public Schools.
(Photo: Guthrie's Brood of Collies)
Dogs aren't forgotten
Guthrie enjoys weaving new tales, with several books already completed. Animal lovers will be glad to know that she's continuing her trend of including a special animal in her books. Her next novel, "Waterlillies Over My Grave," will be out next spring and features an 8-year-old Collie named Lady who helps "sniff out" the bad guys.
Interestingly, Guthrie's fiction seems to inspire her real life, as well. Her beloved horse, Socks, died last year at the ripe old age of 25, so Guthrie bought a quarter horse named Jackson.
"Strange. Jackson looks like Bluebird," she says. "Not intentional, I don't think."
* * *
First line, IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY - "It was a great day to catch a killer."
Favorite Scene: "I guess that would be the scene when Adam is lunging Bluebird pretending to be a beginner. When a motorcycle roars down the driveway and Bluebird spooks, Adam is forced to show his skills as a horseman, letting Maggie know he's not what he pretends to be."
** Find out more about Patricia A. Guthrie at her blog and at MySpace.