Shadow of a Doubt Book Review
by Sydney at HorseCrazyGirls.com
Shadow of a Doubt book review
Shadow of a Doubt tells the tale of a Fyfe Flynn, and a colt she names "Shadow of a Doubt" who is meant to be a work horse, but has the heart of a racer. The story begins with a prologue that draws you in and makes you want to read more. Starting with the incredible story of the colt’s birth, there’s adventure, a major setback, and a wealthy competitor who wants Shadow out of racing. And most of all, a girl -- and horse -- who won’t give up.
This is a fun story and I think it’s perfect for pre-teens and young teens. It’s well written and family friendly. There is a farm full of characters who talk so you’ll also hear the story from Shadow’s viewpoint as he struggles to achieve his dream and help the girl he loves so much.
If you are looking for a great new horse book to read, try Shadow of a Doubt!
Interview With the Author Skylar JamesHow long have you been a horsecrazy girl?
I’ve loved horses my whole life. I learned to ride when I was six years old and I have fond memories of afternoons spent at Miller's Harness Company on 24th Street. I would curl up in the big brown leather chairs in the back and lose myself in the latest installment of The Saddle Club series. I loved those books!What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to tell a really exciting story about girl power. Fyfe Flynn is a firecracker and she’s not going to let anyone or anything stand in her way. And she has this amazing sense of confidence, in large part, because of her friendship with her horse, Shadow. The Flynn's face a tremendous amount of adversity but what binds them together and gets them through it is really their love of horses and horse culture. At the end of the day, Shadow of a Doubt is a story about friendship, family, and about chasing your dreams, no matter how far out of reach they may seem. How long did it take you to write it?
From start to finish, the whole process took about a year and a half! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I’ll give you my Top 3. I’ve been fortunate to receive a lot of great advice from teachers, mentors, and colleagues, so I’ll give you the best two tips I’ve ever received, plus one of my own.Show up.
This is a big one. There's always something else competing for your time and attention. Sometimes it’s something you can’t ignore (like homework!) and sometimes it's something that's-totally-calling-your-name-and-it'll-only-take-a-second (like Insta). And sometimes, you’ve just got a case of writer’s block and don’t want to face your screen. But it's important to carve out time to write every single day. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. And what you write doesn’t have to be good. Just commit to putting some words out into the world.
There's a writer named Amos Oz who said (and I'm paraphrasing), being a writer is like being a shopkeeper – you’ve got to open the shop every morning, some days will be busy and some days will be slow, but you’ve got to stay there until it’s time to close the shop every night. Switch it up.
Try writing by hand. Most writers are glued to their blinking cursor all day long, but writing by hand actually activates a different part of your brain than typing! I find switching from keyboard to paper can make me think about a scene or a character in a whole new way. Next time you get stuck, try your trusty pen and paper. Going old school might just breathe new life into your process.
This one's a 2-parter. The first part is: Stick to your guns.
Getting feedback is an important part of writing. But you’re not always going to agree with every note you get. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and your work. If you really love something, fight for it! Chances are, if you’re that passionate about it, there’s something special there and it might just need some finessing.
That brings me to the second part: Don’t get too attached.
Be open to receiving feedback. Be willing to change. Other people’s opinions are really, really valuable. (Especially when writing for an audience.) If you feel your writing is too precious, it can hold your work back from being the best it can be.
Basically, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em!Do you have horses now? Can you tell us about them?
I wish! I would LOVE to have a horse, but unfortunately I do not. (And I'm pretty sure it might violate the “no pets” clause of my lease.)
However, I was lucky enough to do some really excellent riding this summer when I was in Costa Rica. There are some breathtaking trails along the Nicoya Peninsula. One minute you and your horse are trekking through the mountains, and you get to the peak and it’s just this lush beautiful greenery as far as the eye can see. Then the next minute, you're galloping on the beach next to the crisp blue breezy waters of the Pacific. My horse was named Pinto, son of Fuego, and boy, could he run! It was a ride I'll never forget.