The fiction editors, Rappahannock Review: Throughout the story, a knowledge of horses and their livelihood is quite apparent; what is your own experience with horses?
Sheila Lamb: This story was inspired during a camping trip to Assateague National Seashore, which was the first time I’d ever seen the horses there. When I started playing around with the story idea, there was a lot of research involved. I did a lot of reading and answering basic questions – are they horses or ponies? Are they wild or feral? I spent some time on the history of Assateague.
On this trip, my friends and I saw people feeding the horses potato chips on the beach. We were furious, especially when it was clearly stated on brochures and signs how bad that was for the animals, not to mention risk of human injury. To be honest, we were kind of hoping one of the guys would get a good kick in the shin.
Otherwise, my horse experience consists of a few pony rides at the local carnival.