Showing posts from November, 2010

Because you’re worth it? What an author REALLY earns...

Since the Great Horse stories are obviously boring people to death, I have decided to blog about money this week for a change. Last weekend, the Guardian magazine carried an interesting article on typical earnings for various professions. My author (who is permanently panicking about the state of her bank balance) was glued to it! Here they are in ascending order of earning power:

Cleaner: £5,000
Alternative Therapist: £5,000
Waiter: £9,000
Small Shop Owner: £9,600 - £12,000
Milkman: £15,000
Architect: £25,000
Cartographer: £20,000 + 1% of sales
Canon (church): £22,000 + rent-free vicarage
Mechanic: £23,400
Pub Landlady: £25,000
Landscape Gardener: £28,000
Police Constable: £28,000
Oxfam Head of PR: £40,000
Psychotherapist: £40,000
Pharmacist: £40,157
Speech Therapist: £40,050
GP: £51,000
Dentist (private practice): £57,500
Criminal Barrister: up to £60,000
Member of Parliament: £65,738
Reality TV Director: £67,000
Airline Pilot: £120,000
Journalist: between £180,000 and £200,000

Great Horse Stories - Petasios' Story

PETASIOS Chestnut stallion Rider: Hephaestion
Hi there! My name’s Petasios, and I was meant to be Alexander’s warhorse. The royal horsemaster picked me out himself and paid good money for me – well, it was the king’s money, but I think that’s all right since he was buying me for the prince. He ordered the grooms to give me the best stable and polish my coat until it shone fiery red like the rising sun. I got the best oats with herbs and honey, and the best of care. The only bad part was when the horsemaster took it upon himself to train me personally. He’s the sort of rider who expects immediate obedience. As long as you behave yourself, everything’s fine, but if you don’t… look out.

Anyway, I’m a well-bred horse and not one to pick a fight, so we got along well enough until the day Bucephalas saw me practising my battle leaps on the riding ground. He was being led out by his groom, Charmeia. She’s a girl-filly and not very big, so it was a bit much to expect her to hold on to Bucephala…

Great Horse Stories - Aura's Story by Katherine Roberts

Dapple grey mare
Rider: Demetrius

My name’s Aura, and everyone notices me. It's a grey thing. I’ve carried queens and princes. I even once almost carried Prince Alexander, only Bucephalas got there first. Just as well, really. Can you honestly see the Persian army running away from me? I don’t even nip people from behind when I’m in season, like some mares I know… mentioning no names, Harpinna! I believe in doing my best for every rider, prince or slave. So the night before our big battle against the Persian army, when the moon went out and all the other horses were scared, I stood quietly for the dark-skinned man who fumbled with my bridle. His hands trembled as he untied me. I could smell the fear in his sweat. “Please,” he kept sobbing. “Please don’t buck me off, little mare.”

He obviously didn’t know me very well. I must admit I was a little surprised when he led me out of the horse lines and scrambled on my bare back. But we horses can see well enough in the dark, even wi…

Great Horse Stories – short story challenge

Bucephalas is very headstrong and Katherine had a hard job controlling him, which is why “I am the Great Horse” runs to 500 pages. But he is not the only horse in the book! Inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the Muse thinks it’s only fair to give the other horses in Bucephalas’ herd a chance to tell their own stories. He is therefore launching his very own MuWRiMo (Muse Writing Month) for those of you who don't have the time to write a whole novel.

Your challenge is to choose a horse from the list below and send in a story or poem and/or artwork inspired by that horse’s character. For example, you could write about their life as a foal… imagine what it would be like to ride them yourself… bring your favourite horse into the modern world… or retell one of Alexander’s battles straight from the horse’s mouth... it’s up to you! The Muse will add authors’ names to the list below as horses are chosen and post the stories between now and 21st December (which is Nationa…

Great Horse 14 – Finally, a book trailer!

The final post in this series must go to fan Jaguar Jedi, who has created this fabulous book trailer on YouTube to tell Bucephalas’ story:


Along with other horse footage, this trailer uses promotional clips from Oliver Stone’s film “Alexander”, which came out at the end of 2004, just after I had delivered the manuscript of "I am the Great Horse" to my publisher. Already a fan, I drove 20 miles to see it on the big screen. I was eager to experience Bucephalas’ battles close-up, but also a bit anxious in case I had got something glaringly wrong. In the event, I needn’t have worried. Although the film concentrates more on the human characters than the horses, everything seemed just right, especially Alexander’s stormy character.

I was fascinated by how the film cuts back and forth through his life in the way of a literary type of novel, whereas my book tells the story in linear form that might have made a more obvious film script... which proves …