A girl. A horse. And a bond that’s unbreakable.
That’s what Rae Rankin’s new children’s book, “Cowgirl Lessons” is about.
Rankin, a Renton resident, released the book this year as an ode to her daughter’s favorite horse that died.
Rankin is an independent marketing consultant and graphic designer who has always had an affinity for fiction and literature. However she never saw herself as a children’s book author, but it was a path she couldn’t avoid.
When the horse died in 2012, Rankin said her daughter was devastated. She began forming bits and pieces of the story shortly after as an ode to the special relationship her daughter had with her horse, as well as for the riding instructor who Rankin’s family was close to.
“I really wanted to give something back to Valerie (the riding instructor) and my daughter, to remember that horse,” she said. “It was in honor for her and her horse.”
Rankin’s daughter, who is now 12, has been riding horses since she was 6 years old. Horses have played an integral part in the Rankin family for generations, so it was only natural for her daughter to inherit the affinity for the animal.
“Horses have been in our family forever… so it was very hard to tell her that (the horse) had died,” she said.
Last year, Rankin helped a client self publish his own book, when she realized it was something she could do herself.
She rolled up her sleeves and went to work. She found an illustrator who was able to capture the heart and essence of the story, and soon released the book in October 2017.
For Rankin, the most meaningful experience was sharing the book with Valerie and hearing her thoughts.
“In the voicemail I got from her, she said… she realized she knew she was doing what she was meant to be doing. She was questioning what she was doing and then she saw the book and it meant that much to her. That, to me, is the most important part,” she said.
After seeing the looks on kids’ faces when they read the book, Rankin said she wants to continue writing for kids.
She’s already in the thick of cooking up another children’s book. This time, it’s about a little girl and her dog at the beach.
Apart from the girl’s love for riding her horse, “Cowgirl Lessons” also highlights the special bond between parents and their kids and the support parents show for their kids’ dreams, a reflection of the relationship between Rankin and her daughter.