5 Questions with Equestrian Author Linda Shantz

This year we’ve been waiting for good things…which makes Linda Shantz’s chosen title all too apropos. Good Things Come could be the feel-good phrase of 2020, because it feels like that’s all we can do: wait.

Wait it out with a good book, at least. Good Things Come is the first novel from talented equestrian artist Linda Shantz, and this experienced horsewoman trots out impeccable details and plenty of racetrack lore as she explores what makes horse-people tick. Plus, that cover!

She painted it herself, you know.

Here’s what the back cover has to say:

Smart horse girls are supposed to go to vet school…but trust a horse to mess with common sense.

If Liv wasn’t such a control freak, it wouldn’t have rubbed her the wrong way when the farm’s new exercise rider stepped in to resuscitate Chique, the first foal out of her father’s favourite mare. But when she drops out of vet school to get her jockey’s license in New York, intent on coming back to Ontario to ride Chique in the Queen’s Plate, he’s the obvious choice to keep an eye on the filly.

Nate’s content to watch Liv go, even though he’s got similar aspirations, when he’s not talked out of them by voices from his past. His growing bond with Chique might earn him Liv’s approval and give him the fresh start he’s looking for, but that’s as involved as he’s getting with the boss’s daughter.

Liv’s determined to keep their relationship professional, no matter how much Chique draws them together. The three of them are going to have to learn to be a team to make it to the Plate.

Set against the backdrop of North America’s greatest racetracks, Good Things Come is a story about the hearts of Thoroughbreds…the people who love them…and the allure of Canada’s most prestigious race.

It’s true, all of it. I had the great pleasure of working on the production side of this gorgeous novel, and I’m here to tell you that if you like racing, horses, or just plain lovely books, you’ll love Good Things Come.

And that’s why Linda Shantz is next up in my very occasional Five Questions!

Five Questions with Linda Shantz

Author Photo courtesy Ellen Schoeman Photography

1. Linda, you’re an overachiever! You’re a sensational painter, what made you jump into writing a novel as well?

Well, to be honest, I’ve been writing longer than I’ve been painting, I’ve just been braver about my painting! I started the story that would become Good Things Come when I was eight, because I decided someone needed to write a story about the Queen’s Plate, instead of the Derby. Needless to say, both the story and I have grown up a bit since then!

2. What do you do for fun when you’re not making amazing art? 

These days, herding lessons with my young Border Collie. I’ve owned Border Collies my entire adult life, but this is the first dog with whom I’ve done herding. So much fun to see her instinct develop, and a challenging learning curve for me! 

3. You write with excellent authority about a number of racetracks, including Woodbine, Gulfstream Park, and Saratoga. How long have you been a horse racing fan?

Oh, probably since my mother started reading The Black Stallion to me when I was about five years old! I went to my first horse race when I was ten, when my dad took me to the Canadian International at Woodbine. The following year I went to my first Queen’s Plate, and have missed very few of them since. Even when I was working on the backstretch, the Plate was always the thing, and if you didn’t have a horse running, you dressed up and went to the front side to be part of it. 

4. If you could have one horse from Good Things Come as your own, which horse would you choose?

Claire! I’ve paid my dues with the small, quick, turn-on-a-dime ones like Chique. I don’t get to ride bomb-proof horses, so it would be like a vacation to have an unflappable horse like her to ride!

5. Will there be a follow-up to Good Things Come? 

Yes! There is another book with the same characters (and some new ones!), and it follows them through the next year of Chique’s career. It’s been through a couple of drafts and will be out in the spring of 2021. If anyone wants to be kept up to date they can sign up for my mailing list at lindashantz.com/good-things-come-updates

They can also read the first chapter of Good Things Come there.

Super thankful to Linda Shantz for the opportunity to be a part of bringing Good Things Come to life, and I encourage you to hustle over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself! It’s available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback.

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