The Making of Dark Horse

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Jackie Poirier

12 September 2022

Q: When did you start D.H.?

A: I wrote Dark Horse in 2019.

Q: What happened in 2019?

A: I was living with my brother in his condo in Langley, B.C., and I was bored. Often, boredom leads to creativity, and I wrote a chapter not knowing where the plot would go.

Q: How did you pick your character’s names?

A: I was working on a huge filing project, sending documents into long-term storage. Several of my characters received their names that way.

Q: Tell us about Beau.

Headshot of Moe, the Canadian HorseA: I own a huge, beautiful, opinionated, Canadian Horse named, Moe. I describe Moe as a combination of ADHD mixed with Alpha horse. He can be quite dramatic and requires his owner (me) to rethink how I ask him to do things. Beau was loosely based on my horse’s character.

In the book, Beau was a tortured soul who learns to trust again even though he experienced severe trauma in his life. Beau was a combination of several horses I met over the course of my career as a riding coach.

Q: Why did you pick the Canadian Horse over a Quarter Horse or Morgan?

A: I wanted to bring awareness to the plight of the Canadian Horse. It is our national heritage breed, and they are critically endangered with less than six thousand five hundred horses worldwide. The Canadian horse influenced the making of the Morgan, Standardbred racing horses, American Saddlebred, and Northern Plains Mustang.

Q: Did you ever own Bouviers?

A: Yes! Ben and Phoenix were real Bouvier des Flandres that I owned in the 1990s and early 2000s. Bouviers were cattle drovers, very loyal, strong dogs. I love this breed.

Q: Where did the supernatural elements come from?

A: Every time I ride in the forest, I feel connected to my Source. You cannot live in nature and not feel the magic. The pull of the seasons, the awesomeness of Mother Nature, and the incomprehension of the vastness of the universe. There is something afoot, much greater than us, and we forget that we are part of that magic.

Q: Which animals did you own?

A: Beau (Moe), Panache, Napoléon, Ben, Phoenix.

Q: What was the hardest part of writing the book?

A: Finding the time to write and edit it! Deciding when to add new characters and how to eliminate them, evil grin. I wanted my horses and dogs to retain their animalistic qualities but have them as part of the family. The animals were appreciated as much as the humans.

Q: Tell us about the women in your book.

A: Kay, the matriarch: powerful, confident, loving, and vulnerable.

    Jean, ghost: start and end of the book.

    Sophie, the protagonist: powerful, confident, narcissistic, and vengeful.

    Daisy, the elder: wise, loving, and formidable.

   Carol, the neighbour: steady, loving, secretive

Q: Tell us about the men in the book.

A: James, the patriarch, hidden powers, rule follower, strong, but suffers from mental illness.

   Connor, the intellectual, protector of JC.

   Chase, can’t say, spoiler alert.

   Mason, the elder, sickly, secretive.

   Mark, overseer for the ‘Big Guy’.

   JC, child, avatar, disruptor.

Q: Who was your favourite character?

A: I loved them all, but I had a tenderness for Connor and Mark.

Q: What are the themes of Dark Horse

A: Duty, loss, overcoming entrenched beliefs, accepting yourself for who you are, protecting your family. I’ve added joy, love, and friendships into the mix, as well as, conflict, evil, and unworldliness.

Q: Is there a sequel?

A: Yes! Dark Horse is part of a trilogy. The next book is Maximum Overdrive, and the final book is called WarHorses.

Jackie Poirier

Jackie Poirier


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