Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author and artist Tia Desrosiers about her life, what inspires her, and the work that went into her new book, The Horse That Saved Us
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am an artist – specializing in the performing arts, such as dancing, acting and singing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading throughout school. Now that I’ve stopped dancing professionally, I enjoy yoga, rollerblading, and or course, dance classes to keep in shape.
When did you want to write a book?
When did you take a step to start writing?
I was invited to attend a Mastermind group. This group is very interactive with brainstorming and great support amongst its members. The whole theme is to Think Big. It was so very inspirational and uplifting, that the next day I decided to write a book on the stories of my Grandmother.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
7 years and 11 months. Since Covid restrictions caused business closures with lockdowns for many months, I had to wait for my book to be printed.
What made you want to write The Horse That Saved Us?
My Grandmother would iterate to the younger generations and family friends, incredible situations she and some family members experienced through her years as a young adult during WW2 in Latvia & Germany, and then in Canada after WW2. Some people would utter, “A book must be written about these fascinating stories!” So, I picked up the ball. 😊
What were your biggest challenges with writing The Horse That Saved Us?
Since my Grandmother resonates more with her native language – Latvian – and I do not speak it, she would tell her many stories to my Mother over the phone, and then my Mom would translate to English & relay this info to me in point form in one of her journals. I would then create sentences, paragraphs and chapters. The info was also not given to me in order, so it was like putting a 10 000 piece puzzle together. Ahhh… Keeping the villages and the incidents occurring there in order was so challenging.
What was your research process for The Horse That Saved Us?
Besides my Grandmother’s explicit memory, I did insert some history notes that I felt were significant and added more depth to the body of the book.
How did you plan the structure of The Horse That Saved Us?
I asked my friends if they wished to read my book in a journal form or story format. They all replied story. And that in turn made more work for me. Ahahaha…..However, it was worth it. I really like the final product.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Horse That Saved Us need?
Yes, I seem to write in a style much like how Yoda of Star Wars talks. Ahahhaa…so my editor pointed out a number of sentences that were in this wondrous wise creature’s speech and we made them more consistent with the flow of the book.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
I would say to him/her, know clearly what you want from start to finish. See the journey and the end in mind.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Sure thing! As I am focused on staying in the Non Fiction genre, I am planning to put out my story of dealing with a few medical conditions. It will include poetry and prose.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Indeed, I am! And yes, it sure was. Although many obstacles were faced, I was determined to plow through to the end! I was set on to honour and pay tribute to my Grandmother, as well as other family members.
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