Lois Kingshott reads ‘Spirit Igniter’ out loud to Kahlua, his favourite chapter from ‘Keeping Kahlua: A Hero’s Journey’. (Facebook photo)

Lois Kingshott reads ‘Spirit Igniter’ out loud to Kahlua, his favourite chapter from ‘Keeping Kahlua: A Hero’s Journey’. (Facebook photo)

Qualicum Beach author pens story ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’

Book details life of 24-year-old arthritic National Show Horse

A Qualicum Beach author wanted to “reach people on a different level” and so wrote her story “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Author Lois Kingshott wrote her first book, Keeping Kahlua: A Hero’s Journey, published May 2020, with the unique narrative that reads as if directly written by the main character Kahlua, a 24-year-old National Show Horse.

Kingshott described her narrative as “Mr. Ed meets Psychology 101” since she “almost became the horse” in order to properly tell his tale.

“If I hadn’t written from his point of view, it wouldn’t have had the same effect on people… And I love storytelling because I find you reach people on a different level,” said Kingshott.

While a work of fiction, Keeping Kahlua: A Hero’s Journey is inspired by true events and illustrated by Qualicum Beach resident, Clive Lauzon.

The book details the life of the arthritic senior show horse, born on April Fools’ Day, and his search for a safe haven which he finds in the corporate world while working at LeapZone Strategies in Nanoose Bay.

Kingshott created the storyline from Kahlua’s true-to-life predicament of being abandoned then hired at LeapZone Strategies.

“Everyone said he was a miracle, as older arthritic horses never end up with a dream job,” she said.

READ MORE: Winter is coming: 1st edition, signed Game of Thrones books for sale in Greater Victoria

Kahlua found himself at LeapZone Strategies on Sept. 25, 2017.

A few months later, Kingshott decided his story needed to be told.

Kingshott said her mission statement for the book was to highlight the value of horses in personal development.

Since she considers working and interacting with horses as “the most extreme” form of personal development because she said a horse will mirror back thoughts and emotions. Kingshott also wanted to draw people’s attention to what happens to horses once they reach a certain age and are no longer considered useful.

Initially, Kingshott did not want to write the story herself, despite conceptualizing it, and considered hiring a professional writer. But was abruptly told by friends that she had to be the one to write it because it “came from her own heart.”

The title, Kingshott said, came from the encounter she had with a Coombs animal communicator.

According to Kingshott, the animal communicator placed her hands on Kahlua’s chest and said “each day that passes he becomes more fearful and vulnerable. You need to show him every Sun and every moon in his lifetime. And you must always reassure him that you will keep him safe, keep him from harm, and keep him close to your heart.”

By working with Kahlua and writing his memoirs, Kingshott said she kept him close.

She said the book is written simplistic and child-like. But although written simplistically, many readers have told Kingshott how they have read much deeper into the story than its apparent surface value.

“Some people think it’s a children’s book, and then other people read it twice and they read between the lines and they see so much more,” she said.

It took Kingshott the better part of two years to finish, and employed the “artist’s way,” a method and workbook written by Julia Cameron.

Marva Blackmore, Kingshott’s writing mentor, once advised her to “learn how to weave tiny bits and pieces of all that knowledge into the story telling voice.”

Without Blackmore, Kingshott said her book would have never existed.

She soon discovered that she couldn’t just sit down and write chapter one to 39 sequentially. In her first few iterations, Kingshott tried to write the narrative from her own perspective, and then third-person, until she finally realized that it had to be written from Kahlua’s perspective and using his voice since the story was about his life.

For her first book, Kingshott wrote it under the pen name Maeve Lawrence. Lawrence is her maiden name, and Maeve is a nickname given approximately 10 years ago by a friend who said Kingshott “vibrated with energy.”

Currently, there are no further sequels planned for Kahlua’s tale, despite many requests to write another.

Kingshott has considered a different story though, about one of her own horses, an Andalusian cross named Calypso who plays Kahlua’s little brother in the book.

Keeping Kahlua: A Hero’s Journey can be purchased as a paperback book from Amazon online, and from Arbutus Fashions and Lifestyle Ltd. and Seathrift Artisan Boutique in Qualicum Beach. Indigo and Barnes and Noble both carry the ebook version as well.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Entertainmentqualicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

The Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges with garbage bin replacement requests. (Michael Briones photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges to meet requests for garbage bin replacements

Waste manager says RDN will have a surplus of 100-litre carts

Members of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. set up the tube where rainbow trout were released into Spider Lake on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Fishing time: 1,800 rainbow trout released into Spider Lake

Society records spike in fishing licences during pandemic

A map showing where the new developments for affordable housing will be located on Moilliet Street in Parksville. (submitted photo)
Parksville city council approves development permit for 87 housing units

Development to include four-storey apartment and eight townhouses

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read