SAM KORE Q&A – Racing Hearts
Q. Renny Eline is an amazing character that we know readers will love as she is relatable and real. Can you tell us a little bit about her?
SK. Renny or Ren as her friends call her, is an extraordinarily strong vibrant character who in fact has a very shy and curious side. She comes with many layers to her, which I think makes her relatable to readers because of course we all have many layers. Ren is very passionate about her rescue centre for racehorses and can be very stubborn when it comes to what she thinks is the best interest for the horses in her care. She is She is not easy to dismiss, she has a special gift of getting people to do what she wants and will never back down from a fight. Because she is a tiny little thing in statue, her strong will and powerful presence comes as a bit of a surprise to some. But definitely not to those who know her.
Without giving too much away, she has a background in racing and understands the industry very well. She is very conversant in the pitfalls of racing and has made it her life’s mission to change some of those hazards. Ren has surrounded herself with likeminded people and develops strong relationships built on that bond as well as trust. She is most definitely very big on trust and honesty.
Q. Do you have another favourite character in the book?
SK. Seren is a favourite. Not because he is the love interest and therefore a main character but because he also has many layers. His life is very much dictated and manipulated by his father but under all that he is a very complex character. He has many inner demons and secrets but when he meets Renny, he begins to explore a side to himself that he had hidden or maybe was untapped before then. He learns things about himself as the story goes along also. He is also very loyal, be it somewhat misguided at times, and he has a very loving side, that he only begins to explore in the first book.
But in saying all that, I do love all my characters, even the unlikable ones. They all have a background to make them who they are in that moment, and they are all very real to me.
Q. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
SK. I don’t know if there was ever a distinct time that I thought, ‘Oh I’m going to be a writer, I have always written stories, for as long as I can remember. I constantly have stories running through my head. Getting them down on paper, so to speak, is the hard part. There is not enough time in the day, to write every story I have in my imagination.
Q. How important is imagination and storytelling in your life?
SK. Oh gosh! As I just said my imagination never stops. It can be a problem at times because I often have sleepless nights because my mind will not stop. Or I spend time daydreaming, living stories in my head. Storytelling is something that I have to have in my life to release the torrent of information in my head. Storytelling is a huge part of my life, it’s what makes me genuinely happy. I couldn’t envisage not having imagination and storytelling in my life, it’s a part of who I am. And it would be very boring (laughs).
Q. How do you stay motivated to write?
SK. I think because I love it so much, I’m naturally motivated. However, I do find myself going off on a tangent or daydreaming a lot. So, one thing I do have to do is keep myself on task. I set myself timelines to do things. For example, I might set myself the task of writing five hundred words a day. Once I reach those five hundred words, I will put it aside for a little while. It could be an hour or a day. Whatever it is, I will try to move away from my workspace and do something different. I have horses so, going for a ride or doing something with them works a treat. It just gives me time to process and imagine the next stage of the story and to clear my head a little bit, writing can be very taxing, its brain draining work sometimes. So, I find giving myself time to clear my head and do something different keeps me fresh and also keeps me balanced.
Q. Where did the inspiration for Racing Hearts come from?
SK. Well as I mentioned I have horses of my own, so I have a natural affinity with them. Just like I have always written, I have always had horses. So, it was just a natural progression from there. I worked for a little while as a stable hand in the racing industry when I was younger and meet some colourful characters. The racing industry I’m sure is overall very good, but as with everything you come across some bad eggs. There has been a lot of negative press about the racing industry over the years and Racing Hearts was my way of combining my passions and my wanting to shine a light on both the good and the bad sides to the industry.
Q. So in saying that, does Renny have any characteristics that are based on yourself?
SK. Absolutely not! Well, maybe the need to rescue or help unwanted animals. I have a couple of rescue horses myself. If anything, she probably has many of the qualities I wish I had. For example, she is very strong and confident when it comes to her beliefs and passion for horses. She is a great leader and people naturally follow her and she is a force to behold. She is feisty and fearless. I would love to be those things.
Q. Is Seren based on anyone in your life, even loosely?
SK. (laughs) Maybe. No really, he may have little pieces of people I have know throughout my life, but if he has it wasn’t intentional. He lives in my head and who he is just came to me. Most of the time the characters just pour out of my mind, and I honestly don’t know where they come from. Sometimes I am even surprised by them (laughs).
Q. Is there something you would like us to know about any of the characters?
SK. Well I will say this is just the beginning, especially for Seren. He is only going to grow as a character. I will give a little titbit without spoiling anything; keep an eye open for two of the secondary characters, as they may develop their own story.