To Julie White, librarian at Okanagan Regional Library’s Silver Creek branch, books are almost as necessary as food.
Not only does she make them available to readers of all ages three days a week, she has written three novels of her own and has another one underway.
“Writing is a priority for me,” she says. “I schedule two-hour sessions after the chores and before I go to work at the library.”
And driving from her Armstrong ranch to Silver Creek is another opportunity to consider her writing.
Fans of White’s earlier novels, Secret Pony and High Fences will be happy to know two more horse novels have just been released.
Riding Through Fire is a companion novel to White’s two earlier books and will also appeal to her established audience of nine- to 13-year-old horse fans.
White’s second new release, Under the Wire, is for teens and is set at a racetrack.
It is her first novel to feature a male character, something a young Revelstoke reader requested several years ago when she was in that town for an author reading.
For White, the racetrack is endlessly fascinating – wealthy and poor, young and old, winners and losers, all side by side, along with “the beautiful gallant horses…”
In Under the Wire, White brings together all these elements in a coming-of-age story enriched with the drama and excitement of life on the backstretch.
Her husband, a former jockey, and his stories provided the inspiration she needed to create a family of die-hard horse racing people.
“I’ve known for a long time I would one day spin my husband’s tales of his youth as a jockey into a book,” she says. “I just had to wait for the right characters to come alive in my mind.”
White says she is fascinated by the person who swims against the current – the one who foregoes the safety of the herd to strike out on his or their own.
The accomplished author is also inspired by the bonds of friendship and family, the community that thrives behind-the-scenes at the racetrack, the horses themselves and, in the case of Riding Through Fire, the Silver Creek fires of 1998 and 2003.
“As the librarian of this tiny rural community, I’ve heard many tales of acts of bravery, big and little, performed during these two disasters. Riding Through Fire is a story about everyday heroes”
White will be at Bookingham Palace Bookstore at the Mall at Piccadilly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 to sign copies of all her books.