Today at Writing Horses I'm interviewing Thea Campbell, the twenty-nine year old protagonist in Death By A Dark Horse. Thea lives in
where she was born and raised. She is a self employed accountant and runs her business out of her home (her house is really cute, by the way. I drove by the other day!). Snohomish, Washington
Susan Schreyer: Hi, Thea, thanks for being here! Shall we get started? I understand you quit your job with that big accounting firm in downtown
and started an accounting business that you're running out of your home. Why did you quit your other job? I'd have thought the pay would have been hard to give up. Seattle
Thea Campbell: Thank you for asking me here, Susan! To answer your question, there's a lot more to life than making money, and that's all I was doing. I hardly saw my family and friends and it was difficult to keep to a riding schedule—all due to the long commute and long work hours. And let me point out that this wasn't a hasty decision. I don't make hasty decisions.
SS: So with all that extra time, what are you doing? Do you have a social life now?
TC: My business does take up time—it has to be a priority if I'm going to continue to pay the mortgage, but I've been able to ride more and yes, I do have a boyfriend—Jonathan Woods.
TC: I'm not that serious about him. Not that he isn't husband material, but not for me…. Oh, okay, I can see you're not going to let this drop. I'll be honest with you, since I really doubt he'll read this. We were pretty serious for a while, but lately it seems he's not happy with me. Shoot, I can't even breathe properly some days. And critical? Holy cats. He bought me an "ensemble" the other day to wear to dinner with his parents next weekend. I have clothes, and a purse and jewelry—and certainly nice enough to wear out to dinner with his parents—but it's like he doesn't think I'm capable of choosing appropriate attire. He's making me nuts.
SS: Wow. Why don't you break up with him?
TC: I've tried, but he seems to have a knack for turning things around. I shouldn't be surprised—he's an attorney. He knows how to work an argument to his favor. That shouldn't stop me though. I'm going to have to do it—one of these days. I can't believe I let it go on, but…well, maybe I do really feel something for him….
SS: Uh huh. Maybe we should talk about something pleasant. You're getting more riding in, you said. Tell me about your horse.
TC: That's Blackie. He's a seven-year-old, dark bay Hanoverian gelding and he's wonderful! Riding him and being around him keeps me sane. I was there when he was born. My great uncle raised him. Uncle Henry used to ride competitively. In fact he rode for
in the Olympics back in the 60s, in dressage. He's retired from that and horse breeding, but he still teaches. In fact he coaches me and Blackie. Great Britain
SS: Do you compete?
TC: No, I don't really want to and Uncle Henry doesn't mind that I don't, even though Blackie is so talented. Some of my friends would like to see Blackie and me in the show ring, though.
SS: So why don't you do it?
TC: I'm really not interested, and don't tell me I should sell Blackie to someone who would show off his potential, because that's not going to happen.
SS: I wasn't going to. That seems like kind of a sensitive subject.
TC: I just get really tired of defending my choice. Especially to people like Valerie Parsons—freaking bully. Just because she was long listed for the last Olympic team and has enough money to spend the winter training and competing in
doesn't mean I should sell Blackie to her. Florida
SS: She offered to buy him?
TC: Repeatedly. I'm not good enough for him, she says. I'll ruin him—she badgers me with that constantly. I'm sick of her already and she hasn't even been back in town a month. I can't go out to
without running into her, and it sure doesn't help that Uncle Henry coaches her. I was working on flying changes yesterday and she marches into the arena and tells me to get off my horse so she could show me how it was done. Can you believe it? Copper Creek Equestrian Center
SS: Did you let her ride Blackie?
TC: Are you kidding? I'd sooner run her over. No way is she touching my horse!
SS: Wow, um, I was kind of hoping to get into some other stuff in our interview, but we've kind of run out of time. How about we go have some lunch at Bernard's Restaurant and plan on finishing this another time?
TC: Oh, sure. That sounds good, I like Bernard's. I can tell you about my trip to Victoria with Jonathan.
SS: Works for me.
Next week I'll be interviewing Thea's sister Juliet!