Jane was our guest back in 2013…
Thank you, Jane for inviting me to the Guest Room.
My writing “career” started when I was a child and had my first short story published in a UK pony magazine at the age of 14. It was about a psycho horse that goes crazy at a horse show and attacks another pony! And so began my interest in combining pony stories for teenage girls with darker (and often supernatural) themes. I’ve always written, and for most of my life this had to be fitted in with full time work; so I wrote 1000 words each way on my daily train commute and used up weekends and holidays, until I was able, eventually, to work part time and free up more hours for writing. I’ve had 30 books for pre-teens and teens published through the traditional route, and translated into 7 different languages, thanks to my wonderful agent, but last year, with a large out of print back-list gathering dust, I decided to go the indie route and self-publish some of these titles on Amazon via KDP Select. I would recommend this to every writer and have learnt (and am constantly learning) so much in the process. I was able to indie publish my Matty Horse and Pony Adventures trilogy and donate all royalties to Redwings Horse Sanctuary, a long-held ambition, and my cat story, Coming Home, was re-issued as an e-book, with royalties going to Cats Protection. This is my legacy, since e-books (currently) do not go out of print!
Last month, after a major edit, I indie published Beware of the Horse, for older teens. I really enjoy every aspect of indie publishing, including marketing and writing my own book blurbs and this is the latest:
A lonely girl with a guilty secret.
A troubled boy given a second chance.
A dangerous horse everyone is scared of.
Well, almost everyone…
I love working with a professional designer to collaborate on the book covers, and have been really pleased with the results. In traditional publishing, I have never had a say in the cover designs, so this aspect of indie working has been a lot of fun.
So what is Beware of the Horse about?
Fifteen year old Jan Bryant is haunted by memories of a tragic riding accident. Consumed by guilt, she struggles to cope and becomes increasingly withdrawn, much to the concern of her Mum, Irene, a single parent trying to make a new life for both of them.
Eighteen year old Richard has been in trouble with the police, but is given a second chance by his older brother, Chris. Together, they run a livery stable and give riding lessons to pay the bills.
When their paths cross, Richard becomes intrigued by the shy, enigmatic Jan, who has a rare gift with horses but seems determined to keep her distance.
Both teenagers are trapped by a past that make it difficult to move on. Like Cassius, the beautiful, damaged and dangerous bay horse that brings them together.
On the terrible day when Jan’s world falls apart once more, Richard is injured after an impulsive act results in disaster. Boy, girl and horse become lost. With their futures inextricably linked, will they see each other again – and find their way out of an increasingly treacherous situation?
Beware of the Horse is available as an e-book from all Amazon territories. Click here to buy from Amazon UK.