Although I have been writing since childhood, I didn’t consider myself to be an author. It wasn’t even part of my game plan. That all changed at Your Horse Live in 2004. After inspiring (well I hope I did) a 100 strong audience to address their horse riding fears, I was approached by Judith Longman, commissioning editor at Hodder and Stoughton, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Breaking into the horsy market was a new move for Hodder and Stoughton, but they already published a very successful 100 Ways series for cat and dog lovers, so it made sense to follow this formula for the horse loving market. My first book 100 Ways for a Horse to Train its Human was a runaway success selling almost 40,000 copies within three months of publication (and well over 50,000 copies to date). If horses were considered pets by The Bookseller magazine, then this first book would have ranked number 3 in its Christmas 2005 pet book bestsellers list. I am quite proud of my first born!

100 Ways to Live with a Horse Addict has a particular satisfaction for me. As a young teenager, I was banned from writing about horses for an entire term by my English teacher, Terry Millward at William Farr School, Welton in Lincolnshire, because I was becoming addicted. I understand that I needed to broaden my subject matter if only to stop poor Mr Millward being bored to tears! But is does give me a certain satisfaction to now have my addiction published! And I believe Mr Millward is in fact quite proud of me – especially being published by a ‘proper’ publisher.

100 Ways a Horse is Better than a Man seemed the obvious next book to write as the horse-riding public is predominantly female and most would trade the husband in first if push came to shove. Funnily enough it was the quickest one to write. I polished it off the first draft in one rainy weekend and when I sent it to Judith she said, ‘Are you sure this is a first draft, it looks great to me’. So it became the first and final draft! It must be the easiest money I’ve ever earned and I loved writing it.

Life takes some strange twists and turns. I started my career in publishing, I managed magazine and book production and client relationships. I only got involved in editing, commissioning and writing to help out when needed. But I did work with some of the best and most talented designers and writers, and that certainly gave me a set of incredibly high standards.

When I left publishing to set up on my own I took a wonderful journey of learning that added coaching, training, research, NLP, marketing and publicity to my tool kit.  Now I have come full circle again – back to publishing but sitting in a different chair. Although I feel I am an accidental author, I also feel it was always part of my true path. I love writing, and entertaining people through my writing; it feels like the most natural and exciting step to now be an author. I also love talking about it, and talking to and about other people who have found their passion too.

I also have another passion: helping young people deal with emotional and behavioural issues caused by traumas or loss in their life. Horses are wonderful, wonderful facilitators to this process. I have experienced horse-powered healing myself on many occasions and have witnessed the incredible difference it can make to young people struggling to articulate and deal with their feelings and emotions. This is why I am supporting Shaftesbury Young People and their equine therapy programme and why I am hatching plans for a dedicated centre for horse-powered healing in the East Midlands. Watch this space… more will be revealed!


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