Susan Mihalic, author of the debut novel Dark Horses, shares her love of New Mexico, her home state.
-- Northern Pueblos, including Taos Pueblo,and rituals and festivals, Bandelier National Monument,
-- Carlsbad Caverns. Lea shares about a tornado; Susan, a honeymoon road trip with (or without) bats
-- Susan talks of Roswell, where supposedly a UFO crashed; "cute brick buildings" and a UFO museum
-- White Sands: "mountains of snow," soft, powdery dunes, no shade
-- Los Alamos, where nuclear bombs were built, with the "highest IQ in the state." Rock petraglyphs and pictographs, at Bandelier
-- Albuquerque: hot air ballooning, "Breaking Bad" sites
-- Taos, Susan's hometown: high desert, blue skies, red aspens. "Taos is my landscape." Artists visiting Taos "stayed because of the light."
-- Ancient crafts, plus Anglo artists from late 1800s. Recreation, in mountains and desert
-- Susan's favorite pueblo, Acoma, known for pottery, and an ancient mica windowpane.
Silver City pueblo, and Zuni pueblo -- fetishes, amulets, jewelry. And bread made in ornos, special ovens.
-- Red or green chilis? "I always get Christmas." Green chili harvest, and green chili stew.
Lea remembers eating green chili burger and Frito Pie, New Mexico faves.
-- Sante Fe: "New York in the desert," star chefs, mountains, opera, arts, old theater, culture, slower pace. Stunning adobe brick. Georgia O Keefe museum there; her home nearby, a ghost ranch and retreat
-- How New Mexico influenced her novel, in which horses are the backdrop. Dark Horses allowed her to buy a horse and "quit her day job." The heroine's relationship with horses is based on Susan's relationship with her horse, Goldmark.
-- Susan's special memory is set on thousands of acres north of Taos, with old logging roads. She twice went horse camping there, sleeping in a tent with Goldmark nearby, riding out for the day. Her "most beautiful place."
Writer, editor, teacher Susan Mihalic lives in Taos, New Mexico. Her novel Dark Horses is on Oprah Magazine's and Parade Magazine's lists of Most Anticipated Books of 2021, GoodReads' list of 75 Debut Novels to Discover in 2021, and was named a "Title to Watch" by Library Journal. Susan taught riding therapy for two summers in college and four years in San Diego. She rides her horse Goldmark every chance she gets, throughout beautiful New Mexico.
Podcast host Lea Lane has traveled to over 100 countries, written nine travel books, including Places I Remember, and contributed to dozens of guidebooks. She's @lealane on Twitter and blogs at forbes.com. Contact her at placesirememberlealane.com.
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