Amanda Wills is the Amazon bestselling author of the Riverdale Pony Stories, which follow the adventures of Poppy McKeever and her Connemara pony, Cloud. She is also the author of the Mill Farm Stables series and three books for younger horse fans, The Pony of Tanglewood Farm, Juno’s Foal and The Midnight Pony. Amanda, a UK-based former journalist and police press officer, has been writing fiction since 2012. Since then she has notched up 15 novels and her books regularly top the UK Amazon horse ebook bestseller charts. Amanda lives in Kent with her husband and fellow indie author, Adrian, and their two sons.
As a pony-mad child growing up in the early 1980s, I was an avid reader of pony books.I devoured the Jill series by Ruby Ferguson, read my way non-stop through the many books by the great Pullein-Thompson sisters and wished with all my heart that I was Jinny, Patricia Leitch’s feisty heroine in the Jinny and Shantih stories.
So, it was probably inevitable that when I decided to try my hand at writing fiction in my 40s I should start by writing pony adventure books.
New writers are always urged to ‘write what you know’ and I took the advice on board. I knew exactly what it was like to be a horse-crazy 11-year-old, which is exactly what Poppy, the protagonist in the Riverdale Pony Stories, is.
My first book, The Lost Pony of Riverdale, took a whole year to write, which seems like an awfully long time now! Six years and 15 books later, I definitely write faster these days. In fact, I finished the first draft of my latest book, The Mystery of Riverdale Tor, in just over three months.
The eighth book in the series, The Mystery of Riverdale Tor sees Poppy and her best friend Scarlett taking part in their first TREC competition.
But first Poppy must turn detective and discover who owns the dog that has been terrorizing local sheep near her Dartmoor home. Coming to the end of a 50,000-word book is always a great achievement, but I am particularly pleased with this one. It has all the ingredients of a rollicking good adventure story: a mystery hound, an evil villain, competition rivals, best friends, and – of course – plenty of ponies!
My all-time favourite horse book:
Such a hard question to answer! The books I adored as a child, and the ones I returned to again and again until the pages were almost worn away, were my battered but beloved Silver Brumby books.
Elyne Mitchell’s much-loved series about the wild horses of the Australian bush was both magical and evocative, and her stories of a brumby dynasty will stay with me all my life.
You can visit Amanda’s website here: https://www.amandawills.co.uk/, find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/riverdaleseries/ or follow her on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/amandawillsauthor/?hl=en