Archive | From The Book

A brief commercial interruption

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I like writing books about horse color, but I am probably the worst person for book promotion. I would rather spend my time researching (there is never as much time for that as I would like) or working on the next book or blog post. But with the Christmas season upon us, it is probably a good idea to remind everyone that horse books make good presents. At least, that’s what I have been telling my family for years now…

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The page spreads that illustrate this post are from the most recent book, Equine Tapestry: An Introduction to Colors and Patterns, published this past summer. It is intended to work as both a supplement to the original Equine Tapestry series and as a stand-alone book outlining the basics of equine coat color inheritance. It is written in non-technical language—considerably less technical than the recent blog posts on pigment-type switching—and there are detailed illustrations and color photos throughout. The book covers colors that are known and well-defined, as well as some that are the subject of speculation, like belton patterning (below) and manchado.

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You can order a paperback copy here, or by clicking on the cover thumbnail on the right side of this page. Those links take you directly to my author page. Ordering through an author page means a larger portion of the purchase price goes to the writer and less to the distribution company. Those with an Amazon Prime membership might want to check there as well, since they offer discounts—sometimes significant ones—from time to time. The hardcover edition is also available through Amazon. The older book, which is scheduled to go out of print early next year (to be replaced with a full-color second edition), can be ordered here.

I also want to thank those readers who have left reviews on Amazon for either of the two books. Many readers use customer reviews to help determine if a book might be suitable for them, and I appreciate the fact that many of you took the time to give potential readers a better idea of what to expect from both books.

So having done my promotional duties, I will return to work on the next post on pigment-type switching. With luck that one will be posted some time this weekend.

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The new full-color book is officially released

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The blog has been quiet for far longer than I intended while I worked to get the most recent book to press. I would like to say that the above image of the orderly edits was really what my workspace looked like these last few months, but that is actually my first-line-of-defense editor (otherwise known as my husband) at work. This is what my work area looked like. Sad to say, that’s actually more tidy than my office library looked at the time.

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But the book is now finished and available to purchase by clicking the link on the right. At the moment, that takes you to the paperback version. There is a hardcover version as well, but it is running a few days behind. Both versions will also be available through online booksellers (Amazon and Barnes and Nobles) as well, though it normally takes a few days for a new book to be added to their sites. (Taming the explosion of paper across my house is still a work in progress…)

As the sample page below shows, this time around the book is in full color. That was not possible with Print-On-Demand (POD) when I published my first book in 2012. For that reason, a lot of compromises had to be made when presenting material in that first book, because obviously some ideas just would not translate without color photos. When affordable color printing came online last year, I began working on a revised edition of the front portion of the first book. Those that have Volume I: Draft and Coaching Breeds know that the book is divided into two parts: a section that explains the colors themselves and a section that is about the colors found in the specific breeds. Because color images were more important to that first section, I originally envisioned this current book as a color supplement to the series, with updates on the research that had occurred since it was first published. However, the temptation to expand the original text was irresistible. I had come across so many interesting things in the years since, particularly regarding colors and patterns that were only mentioned in passing in the original. And then there were the many people who offered wonderful photos of rare colors. By the time it was all done, very little of the original was left.

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So rather than a supplement, it would be more accurate to say the new book is both a stand-alone text on horse color, and the opening book for the Equine Tapestry series. I will be releasing Volume I in full color, and I will finish out the remainder of the series in full color. The new Volume I will contain the Draft and Coaching Breeds, as before, as well as the two groups of breeds that were dropped when the first book became too large. Those were the Light Draft Breeds and the Harness Racing Breeds. So the new order of the series (all full color) will be the Introduction, then Volumes I through IV.

Here is the cover for the Introduction, which is the book that is currently available.

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These are the tentative covers for Volume I (Draft and Coaching Breeds) and Volume II (Ponies and Small Horses). It is my hope to have the replacement Volume I go to press by early 2015.

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Because it will eventually be replaced by the new Introduction and Volume I, the black-and-white book (published in 2012) will go out of print in the next month or so. It is likely that some of the material in the older book will not be included in the new books, particularly some of the historical photos. The printing process used for the full-color books (and especially for the hardcover versions) requires a higher-quality image, and some of the older photos will not translate well. I may also have to drop some of the extinct breeds like the Nivernais if space becomes an issue, so the old and new Volume I books may not have the exact same material.

Hopefully I have not managed to make this too confusing. I am still in the process of adding a shopping cart to this site so that books can be ordered directly, but as soon as that is done this blog should return to its more active state. I also have to apologize for the tremendous backlog of comments which need approvals or replies. My email inbox is, quite sadly, even more neglected. Because sustained focus is not exactly my strong suit, I have yet to find a way to write without restricting my attention to book work so everything else is woefully behind. I will likely be playing catch-up for a while, but I promise I will respond – if rather belatedly – to everyone.

And finally I want to thank all the readers that contributed to the current book. Whether it was in the form of questions, or shared insights, or rare photos, readers here helped make the new book better than it might have been had I done it all alone. Because I truly hate to impose on others, I find it hard at times to reach out and ask for assistance. The help that so many offered at the various stages of this project has made me all the more determined to overcome that tendency in the future.

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A teaser image from the book

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I have been working this past week to finalize the photos for the upcoming book, Equine Tapestry: An Introduction to Colors and Patterns, and I thought it would fun to share a teaser image. The above picture shows how the dappling pattern – including the distinctive ‘spider vein’ pattern on the gaskin – on a champagne is a near-perfect reverse of the dappling pattern on a sooty palomino. I met this mare at a local Appaloosa show, and took numerous photos of her striking coloring.

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The reversed veins are visible here on her forearms as well as her gaskins

I have been very fortunate that so many people from around the world have been willing to share images of their horses. Looking through the draft of the book, it pleases me to see so many different breeds, and so many different countries, represented. Three years ago, when I began work on the previous book, one of my biggest worries was whether or not I would be able to get the photos I needed to tell the stories of those breeds. This time around, my biggest challenge is fitting in all the images I would like to use!

Because there are still quite a few steps to go before the book is finalized, I do not yet have a publication date. If there is one thing that I learned from the last time, it is that there are always new ways for a book to be delayed! I will keep blog readers posted as things progress, though.

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I plan to post a few more teaser images as I get time in the upcoming weeks, including some additional photos of Vasco Piskui, the manchado Polo Pony from the cover. I was recently contacted by his current owner with some additional images of him that show more of this rare pattern. So keep checking back – or better yet, enter your address to the right (“Subscribe to blog via email”) and have the blog posts delivered to your inbox.

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