Thank you for being here today to talk about giving back. I know you speak and write of Authoring Change. As I understand it, you use this term to describe how you are creating change through your writing and actions. How did you come up with this term–and can you explain more about it?
When writer Lori Conforti interviewed me about the campaign, she talked about “authoring change.” I loved the succinct way her phrase described what was happening between me and my readers. I asked if I could please borrow it and she generously said “yes.”
Debby: Your readers have faith in you because they know you care and not only that, but they know you will take action. You have worked so hard to save mustangs from slaughter. Can you tell us more about the plight of the wild mustang?
Terri: Wild horses are being killed every day, and we (American taxpayers) are footing the multimillion dollar bill for it. Since 1971, when mustangs were declared endangered, the Bureau of Land Management was appointed to protect them. Since then, BLM has rounded up over 270,000 wild horses with helicopters. Many die. Many miscarry their babies or have them run to death. Most of the others are separated from their families and confined in pens for the rest of their lives.
I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. I’ve tried to stop it with a lawsuit.
Kids are known for saying “That’s not fair!” to decisions they don’t like, but in this case they’re right. Many children live with parents who don’t take good care of them and they identify with the horses in ways that are touching and sad.
Debby: I remember reading about the round ups the first time many years ago–the loss of the wild mustang is tragic and permanent. What can people like me do to help?
It’s the quickest way to learn what’s happening now. Next, talk about it! The women at the gym, in my critique group, the plumber, my friends and relatives ask me for updates. Once they know they’re financing this cruel disaster, they care. Then, check out http://wildhorsepreservation.org/. It is the organization I trust to give me the facts and tell me how to take quick action online. The Internet makes it possible and easy to stand up for what you believe. This month, 30,000 people told the new Secretary of the Interior they want her to stop the runaway round ups and listen to the National Academy of Sciences. Watch for my Tweets or be my Facebook friend. I share lots of wild horse news.
Terri: Do it. Don’t preach, of course, but write from your head and heart and people will join you. HarperCollins sent out over 200 press releases about my work to help wild horses. Marine Mammal Rescue used autographed copies of SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA as a fund-raiser, even though it’s a fantasy. Other humane and literacy organizations have done the same. It’s good for your career as well as your legacy as a caring human being. We are one book away from changing the world; it might as well be yours.