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Interviews

Interview with Tricia Psarreas, Co-Writer

Interviewed by Sheryl Maloney on December 7, 2007

Sheryl:            What was it like being invited to help Shane Sellers write his autobiography?

Tricia:             Getting the opportunity to work with Shane was both a blessing and an honor. Up until I started working on Freedom’s Rein, I had only ghostwritten books for clients who must remain anonymous. Shane gave me the opportunity to break into a new branch of writing and I could never thank him enough for that.

 

Sheryl:            What is it like working with Shane?

Tricia:             Working with Shane is fantastic. He’s been extremely patient with me, even though I have to keep asking him to relive and describe the worst moments of his life. Shane wears his heart on his sleeve and I’ve gone through a lot of rollercoaster rides with him because of that. The more I learn about what he’s been through, the more I feel for him and the more I want to help him reach all of his goals. I truly hope this book will help him see all of his dreams come to fruition because he deserves it. Shane has one of the sweetest, kindest hearts a man could have, and it’s time for the rest of the world to see that.

Sheryl:            Indulge me. Is this a story of sour grapes or does it serve some greater purpose?

Tricia:             Freedom’s Rein is much more than a sour grapes tale and if all goes as Shane and I hope, it will lead to some very positive changes. There are certainly some negative and controversial elements in this book, but that’s only natural in an autobiography. This is not just a story about horse racing; it’s a story about Shane’s life. As the book shows, his life has had many ups and many more downs. We’re not pointing fingers at anyone and we’re not out to give anyone else a bad name. In fact, I have personally called every jockey who plays a role in the book so they could have the chance to explain their actions. In the end we couldn’t get everyone to respond, so we’re simply writing about Shane’s life as he has experienced it.

 

Sheryl:            How do you feel about the issues Shane is fighting for?

Tricia:             I support Shane and his fights wholeheartedly. It appalls me to think that such an influential industry refuses to use its power for the sake of good. People have the right to be treated as well as horses, and horses should be treated much better than they currently are, too. The conditions for jockeys are terrible and I admire Shane for having the courage to speak for those who will not speak for themselves – especially after everything the industry has put him through.

 

Sheryl:            Do you think this book is better suited for some audiences than for others?

Tricia:             To be honest, I think that Freedom’s Rein will appeal to just about everyone. Its most obvious fan base will probably be comprised of horse racing fans, but this is much more than a tale of horse racing. This book is about family life, eating disorders, work demands, animal rights, human health, the struggle to survive, and so much more. I don’t think that there’s anybody in the world who can’t relate to at least one of the core components of this book, so this is really a story for everyone.

Sheryl:            Can you name some of your favorite authors and describe how they motivated you to write this book?

Tricia:             I’m going to have to answer that question in two parts. I love reading, so my list of favorite authors is long and assorted. I can’t get enough of Tess Gerritsen and her ability to make my hair stand on end; Anne Rice and her unrivaled power of descriptive writing; Matthew Pearl and his ability to draw from past classics to create present masterpieces; Jasper Fforde and his literary reminders that it is okay to laugh … These are just some of the authors who captivate and inspire me, but my real motivation to write this book was Shane. His story deserves to be heard and I’m still thrilled that he gave me the chance to be a part of it.

 

Sheryl:            What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Tricia:             Remember that the word ‘author’ is not synonymous with the word ‘writer.’ Everybody has to start somewhere and it is very unlikely that you will become the next J.K. Rowling on your first try. If writing is what you love, then that is what you should do. It doesn’t matter if you have to start off writing for your local newspaper, writing free movie reviews, or ghostwriting full blown novels. The point is for you to exercise your creative freedom and keep trying. You never know when your big chance will arrive, so be ready and be prepared. Even if you don’t go down in history as the next Shakespeare, you can still have your voice heard and make a terrific living doing so.

LATEST ADDITIONS

Congratulations, Calvin!
(02 May 2010)
Jockeys: Bringing Hope Back into the Game
(06 Feb 2009)
Freedom's Rein Specials
(05 Dec 2008)
Book Signing Update
(12 Jul 2008)
A Fundraiser and a Charity Announcement
(31 May 2008)

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