By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Mississippi’s own Vaughn Wilson is signing his critically-acclaimed book, “Tell Me About That Horse,” today at the Book Mart & Cafe on Main St. from 1-3 p.m.
The book is the winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award, a national award presented for literature which honors the tradition and values of the American West and the American cowboy.
“Tell Me About That Horse” was also a finalist for the American Horse Publications Book of the Year and a finalist for the New Generation/Indie Book Awards Coffee Table Book of the Year.
The hardcover book features 40 intimate profiles of well-known horse lovers and includes a foreword by Nolan Ryan.
Each interview is partnered with a Wilson original portrait and his one-of-a-kind photography. The cover image is an oil painting Wilson made of cowboy singer Michael Martin Murphey and his horse Wildfire, named after his hit record of the 1970s.
Wilson said he has been fascinated with horses almost since birth, and even having known so many over the past half century as an owner and breeder, there were still just one or two that had that extra special spark.
“I wondered if trainers were led to do what they do because of one particular horse or if rodeo performers and ranchers who make their living with horses could pinpoint one that was a bit more special than the others for whatever reason,” Wilson said. “And I wondered if all horse lovers could trace the source of their equine infatuation to one horse in their past. Roy Rogers Jr. told me that his dad could be talking about horses with someone, but as soon as Trigger’s name was mentioned, Roy’s whole demeanor would change. He spoke more reverently about that horse.”
Wilson said the key message of the book is that no matter how many horses come and go in our lives, we can usually look back and remember one that led us in a certain direction or one that evokes emotion at the mere mention of his or her name.
“I think the book will be a good read for most anybody who likes a good story,” Wilson said. “Of course, horse people will enjoy the book for obvious reasons, but you don’t have to be a horse lover to be a good candidate for this book. There are stories in the book that will make you laugh and some will make you cry, but all are entertaining in some way.”
Over the course of writing the book, Wilson said his travels took him to Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, California and down every major highway, country road and pig trail in Texas — some of them twice.
“I can’t think of another soul who could have produced this book,” Western Horseman Magazine Publisher Darrell Dodds said. “Vaughn Wilson is a passionate horseman, skilled photographer, talented painter and the type of interviewer who doesn’t get in the way of a good story. If you like horses and horse people, you’ll love this book.”
Book Mart & Cafe co-manager Carolyn Abadie said the store is always happy to host a talented Mississippi author.
“Vaughn Wilson is extremely talented and has put together a really beautiful book that anybody would enjoy,” Abadie said.
Wilson currently lives in Petal with his wife, Valerie and daughter, Emily.
For more information, please visit http://www.tellmeaboutthathorse.com .