Jessica BurkhartAuthor of the Month
Jessica Burkhart [June 2009]
Chosen by MyShelf.Com reviewer Jan Fields

Jessica Burkhart has always loved horses. She even started her own business at the age of ten to pay for horseback riding lessons. Then in eighth grade she had to have surgery for severe scoliosis and that ended her life as a rider, but definitely didn't lessen her love for horses one bit.

In 2006, she learned about National Novel Writing Month and decided to accept the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. The result: a pretty bad draft of what eventually became her first Canterwood Crest novel, Take the Reins. Then in a series of events that sounds like pure Hollywood, she was discovered by an agent and landed a four book deal with Simon & Schuster/Alladin Mix for her series on boarding school, girls and horses (with a lot of lip gloss thrown in!) Later her agent landed four more books for the deal and Jessica was off to the races—and enjoyed every bit of the ride,

Jan: The horses in your Canterwood Crest books have such distinctive personalities. Which ones are based on horses you've known and loved?

Jessica: The horses are all based on horses I've ridden. I rode many different horses when I had a boarding stable behind my house. Charm, the main horse, is most like my first horse. All horses have unique personalities—just like people!

Best Enemies by Jessica BurkhartJan: In a smack down between your mean girl characters, Jasmine, Heather and Violet—which do you think would win? Oh, wait, it looks like we might see a little of that action between Jasmine and Heather in Best Enemies. But still, I might bet on Violet.

Jessica: Heather would definitely win! She's super smart and always gets what she wants.

Jan: Can your super cooking character, Paige, come over and cook for me? Where do you get the ideas for Paige's yummy cooking?

Jessica: Paige is busy being a TV star, but I'm sure she can make room in her schedule to come visit you. I get a lot of the ideas from Martha Stewart's Website. So many great recipes to choose from.

Jan: And speaking of yummy—just how much lip gloss do you own? How do you keep up with things like fashion, beauty and such for your I see a lot of teen magazines in your life?

Jessica: I have about.20-something lip glosses. I keep up with teen/tween news online and do read a lot of teen mags.

Jan: Your mean girls are soooooo mean. How do you get in the right mood to create a really mean girl? Do you ever feel like rescuing Sasha from all this cattiness?

Jessica: Scary as it sounds—I'm always in the mood to write mean girls! They're so much fun to write and I love creating trouble for Sasha. I never feel the need to rescue her—she's a resourceful girl and she can definitely take care of herself.

Jan: Congratulations on your move to New York City—what's the single coolest thing that's happened since the move?

Jessica: My housewarming party was the most amazing thing ever! I had a total blast and am spoiled and lucky to have such great friends.

Take the Reins by Jessica BurkhartJan: The covers you've gotten for these books are incredible. Now that your characters have become people, does it change how you see them in your head? Are these real girls becoming your characters for you?

Jessica: I do see the faces of the real girls when I write the books. It's fun to have real girls to imagine. At the first photoshoot, I was actually initially intimidated by the model who played Heather—I totally expected her to be mean. :)

Jan: I see you're getting some fan action with fan art and fan web sites—what's it like to see your books really becoming so important to the girls you write for?

Jessica: It's humbling and I'm honored that girls are caring enough to create art and sites for my books. I appreciate each fan so much and it's because of them that I'm living my dream.

Jan: So, what did you do for your carpel tunnel? I'm always looking for good advice.

Jessica: I take OTC medication and wear a sturdy hand brace whenever I type. I can't use my computer without the brace or my hand starts to hurt within seconds.

Jan: Now, I'm guessing that in the ever famous Zombies vs Unicorns, you're on Team Unicorn? Is that right?

Jessica: That's correct! Sorry Team Zombie friends. I gotta go with the Unicorns!


Review:    Read Jan's review for Myshelf of

Canterwood Crest: Behind the Bit
Canterwood Crest: Behind the Bit by Jessica Burkhart review.



Jessica Burkhart's Website
Jessica's blog
Canterwood Crest Official Website



TAKE THE REINS Canterwood Crest (#1) [Jan 2009]
CHASING BLUE Canterwood Crest (#2) [Mar 2009]
BEHIND THE BIT Canterwood Crest (#3) [May 2009]
TRIPLE FAULT Canterwood Crest (#4) [Aug 2009]
BEST ENEMIES Canterwood Crest (#5) [Oct 2009]
LITTLE WHITE LIES Canterwood Crest (#6) [Dec 2009]
RIVAL REVENGE Canterwood Crest (#7) [Feb 2010]
HOME SWEET DRAMA Canterwood Crest (#8) [Apr 2009]

2009's Honorary List

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