Friday, November 14, 2014

Member Interviews - Ishbel Moore

Guilty Pleasures Interview with Ishbel Moore

Dogs or cats? 
I love all my animals. Each species and each individual brings its own charms and challenges. I have a calico house cat called Trinket who allows me to cuddle her during the day as long as I allow her to sleep at the foot of the bed at night.
We recently scooped up 4 adorable little kittens from a neighbour as we had no more outside cats to keep the mice at bay; Two oranges, a calico tabby, and a white with a couple of tan/grey patches, whose names are Ingot (the only male), Iona, Isis, and Isla.
We have two Labrador dogs: A black 18 month-old called Sven (Sir Sven or Mr. Sven) who keeps us busy but is very smart, and his mother Missy, a chocolate lab of some 11 years. I adopted Missy in May 2013 and she promptly had puppies in June – one of which is Sven.
We currently have four horses: Bliss (Bit of Hal) – a purebred Arabian, “grey flea-bitten” 22 year-old mare who thinks she is only 2, and her purebred son, Virtue (Halmonazaal’s Virtue). Virtue started life as being a dark bay colour, and is now steel grey with areas going grey. His father was dark grey and of course Bliss is ‘white’, so Virtue will ‘grey out’ eventually. My original/first horse was Promise (Hal Azaala), who was Bliss’s mom / Virtue’s granny, and she was also a “flea-bitten grey”. We just had her laid to rest this past September at the grand age of 29½ years-old. There is also a palomino paint draft cross mare called Avalon, who was one of the foals born on our property back in 2004, so she is 10 years-old. And a black Quarter Horse mare of undetermined age but estimated to be around 15-18 years-old, called Bonnie Belle.

Ereader or paper back? 
Paper back.

Chick flicks or action movies? 
Chick flicks, but love old war movies.

Flats or stiletto shoes? 

Favourite place to vacation? 
Vacation??? What’s that? Okay – it’d have to be Scotland.

Favourite drink from the bar?
Can I only choose one? Actually, I don’t go to bars and don’t drink much, but I do like a powerful punch I make for parties called Scotch Sparkle. My go-to drink would be a Brown Cow (Kahlua and cream); and I won’t say no to bubbly white wine.

Favorite fast food item? 
That’s really tough, as I don’t do fast food much, but I will confess to liking McDonalds cheeseburgers, large fries and a chocolate shake.

Favorite flavor of ice cream? 
Canadian Mint.

Favourite candy your sweet-tooth craves? 
Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate bars.

Favourite article of clothing?
Whatever fits best. I’m a sweatshirt kind of gal.

Favourite time of day? 
Short answer – morning. I like to sleep until about 8 a.m. if I can, and then I go out to do horse chores and walk the dogs. I love when the sun streams through the trees and welcomes me to a new day. But there is also nothing quite like the amazing huge and colorful sunsets we get over Oak Hammock Marsh.

Favourite season? 
Early Fall when the oppressive heat days are gone but winter has not hit us yet; the days when you need a heavy sweater or light jacket and the breeze brings out the roses in your cheeks.

Favourite television show?
Coronation Street is up there; Masterpiece Theater particularly the historical dramas. I’m a big fan of things like Ancient Aliens and Myths of the Bible, documentaries, that sort of thing.

Favourite movie you’ve watched more than once?
Black Beauty. To my surprise I really liked Ten Things I Hate About You, but I guess it’s because it’s based on Taming of the Shrew. I use Ten Things I hate About You when teaching writing because you can track the plot/pivot points. 

Favourite song you listen to over and over again? 
The songs I listen to over and over change all the time. I find a song or songs that fit a story I’m working on and I play it a great many times. Then find another song for a different story, etc, etc. I conduct two local choirs and choose the music for these, so I listen to a variety of CDs. However I am a fan of: Enya, Loreena McKinnett, Sarah Brightman, Moodie Blues, and all the great classical composers with Rachmaninoff in first place.

What books might we find on your bedside table/eReader? 
Right now it’s an old book of short stories called “The Personality of the Dog”. Last month it was “One Hundred and Four Horses”. Before that it was “Slave Species of the Gods”, “The Jesus Dynasty” and “For Elise – the Forgotten Woman of the Criddle Homestead” (all non-fiction). I have just picked up “Chocolatour – The Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate”. Omnipresent however is the Farmers’ Almanac. Quite the selection. My favorite author of all time though is Catherine Cookson (Historicals). Important to remember: I critique/edit other people’s manuscripts all the time – in writers’ group sessions or for paying authors. Most of the manuscripts are fiction of one kind or another, often romance or women’s fiction, memoires, and occasionally historical. I’m always reading.

Please tell us a little more about you.
Ishbel has authored 13 published primarily-YA books through various Canadian, American and British publishers over the last 20 years. For many years, she wrote for, helped plan and proofread the Horse Country Magazine until it was recently sold. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, with two winning awards. At one time or another, she has been involved in the craft of writing at local, provincial and national levels through service to the Canadian Authors Association, CANSCAIP, CCBC, and the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, plus establishing the Lovers Knot peer circle for Romance writers in Winnipeg, and facilitates the Selkirk Library Writers (multi-genre). Through book tours, school workshops and computer communications, Ishbel has worked with students and adults of almost every age, helping them to move towards their dreams of becoming writers. In 1995, she received the YM-YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her novels geared to teens. Ishbel has gained provincial and national recognition for her dedication to writing and writers. For the last four years, Ishbel has been one-third of the Black Ink Writers’ Retreat and Conference team (Selkirk, Manitoba) of organizers and presenters. Her sessions on grammar are always well-received, e.g. The Apostrophe Catastrophe. There’s more – like vocal coaching, choir conducting, and natural horsemanship training but that’s for another time.

Thank you for sharing your Guilty Pleasures!


  1. WOW, Ishbel you sound like one amazing lady. And thank you for taking in so many animals and giving them a loving home. Wishing you a safe and warm winter season.

  2. An animal lover :-) and I'm with you on those Brown Cows, lol!

  3. Ishbel, how do you find time to write? Caring for all those animals sounds like a full time job.
    Oh and I would love to try your punch :)