Robin Hutton's book, "SGT Reckless" has all the makings of a great movie and her biography is now on the NY Times Best Seller's list. A heartwarming true story of an amazing horse!
Robin, your book "Sgt. Reckless, America's War Horse" is simply amazing! It's wonderful that you are telling the story of her remarkable life, what inspired you to write this biography?"
OMG Thank you so much, Dev! This little mare has taken me on a wonderful adventure, that’s for sure! I first discovered her story in a book called “Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul.” There was a short story in there about the birth of her first colt, Fearless. I read three paragraphs of her heroics during the Korean War and I thought, “Who is this horse, and why have I never heard about her?” because I thought it was the greatest horse story I had ever read. I googled her name and only four items came up on the internet! She had vanished from the pages of history! I felt that was a travesty and so I started researching her story. The more I learned about her and the Marines that served with her, the more I decided to make it my mission that she, and they, will never vanish from history again.
This was the only horse that was ever promoted to Sgt. in the marines and an incredible look at how almost human she was in personality. I certainly can see a movie in your future with this story. Anything in cards for a movie?.She actually held the rank of Staff Sergeant, and if she outranked you, you could not give her a command or lead her in a parade! Hahaha! That’s what I love about this story. A movie would be awesome! I actually wrote the script of her story first because I felt a movie was a natural. I finished it in 2009, and picked up Variety and read that Steven Spielberg was directing “War Horse,” and my heart just sank. I thought at first it was MY war horse, but thankfully it wasn’t! But even so, I couldn’t get a meeting about my script. So I focused on getting the book written and the monument built in her honor. Now that “War Horse” has come and gone, and my book has done so well in the marketplace, I am just now starting to shop the script - so say prayers that someone picks it up! It’s a really great script, if I do say so myself!
With our world in such chaos these days, I found this story very heartwarming and poetic right now. How long did it take you to write this one and what are you working on next?
It took me eight years to get the book completed from when I first discovered her story in 2006 - seven years to research and write the book because it took time to track down Marines that served with her and get their stories and pictures, and then a year to get it published. But honestly, it now feels like the time just flew by!
I’ve been trying to find that next story that gives me inspiriation, and I think I just found it this week! I have fallen in love with heroic animals (obviously!) and I stumbled upon the story of these wonderful homing pigeons that were so heroic during WW1, and especially WW2. They saved the day countless times, and thousands of them were used during these wars. So I’m seeing where this story leads me. They are really special though. Pigeons -- who knew!?
I love your writing style, what tips can you give aspiring first time authors?
Thanks! I tell people to find a topic that they are passionate about because it’s that passion that is going to keep you going when the thoughts dry up, or you are having writer’s block (yes, we all have that!) or the pressures of life get you down. I was going through some tough personal issues during the seven years of writing this story, but I found that working on Reckless was the one place I could go where I could find comfort, peace, joy, and the strength to just keep perservering and fulfilling my dream. For me, to see what she went through, and to learn what her fellow Marines went through in the middle of battle - well, she, and they, helped me see that troubles come and go, and the seasons are always changing, and if you just stayed steady on the course - all will be well. Also, for me, the fun part was LEARNING something new! I have grown immensely as a person because of what I learned researching and writing this story - not to mention the new friends I have made because of Reckless. And that’s pretty cool.
Congratulations on becoming a New York Times Best Seller with Sgt. Reckless! You seem to be living a dream and it's so deserved Robin. I for one am so proud to call you my neighbor and friend. I think you have resurrected a special soul for people to envision during these uncertain times, politically and spiritually this book is special. Do you have a special message for all your fans?
Dev, you are so sweet, and I feel the same about YOU!
First, I want to thank everyone for their love and support for my book! I am touched beyond words at the responses I get from people who fall in love with this wonderful heroine like I have. I keep pinching myself that she made the New York Times Best Seller list - but then I think, it’s Reckless! Of course she did - hahaha!
Secondly, just keep staying steady and true to your dream - whatever that dream is, and where ever it takes you. Even when the dream comes to a fork in the road, know that which ever path you choose, that’s the one you were meant to take, where ever it leads you. Even when things look really bleak, and you might even have a crisis of faith - even then, that’s where you are supposed to be at this point in time. Just take a deep cleansing breath, put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving forward. You’ll be amazed at where you end up - and it's usually beyond your wildest dreams!
That’s what Reckless did - and that’s the lesson I learned from her. But then you must remember - she wasn’t a horse, she was a Marine!