It gives me great pleasure to welcome the author
Hollie Anne Marsh
|Photograph by kind permission|
Welcome to Jaffareadstoo, Hollie. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from Australia and live in Barcelona Spain with my partner and adorable eighteen month old baby boy. For fifteen years I worked in marketing, working with well known brands such as Gillette, Nature Valley, Red Bull, Orange and Laurent Perrier champagne. I started writing at school and had a little dream to create a fun, new equestrian book series, a bit like the Saddle Club series or Babysitters Club with addictive characters. A bit like T.V. in a book for young (middle grade) readers. I studied a business / marketing degree, but I also chose some writing subjects at University and I enjoyed those classes a lot - particularly creative writing.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I started writing when I was about twelve. I had a wonderful teacher called Mrs Mclean. She was also our Principal and she was a teacher I remember as she encouraged me with my writing. I remember Mrs Mclean trying to persuade me to go into a writing career. Alas twenty five-ish years later I wrote a book!
What inspired you to write the Sweetbriars Books series - and what can you tell us about your latest book that won’t give too much away?
I decided to finish the first Sweetbriars book Leaving The City after having a baby in 2017. I was also working for a company and the job I had wasn't particularly creative. So I was keen to do something different and have some fun writing again. I created the story based on my experiences of living in England, where I trained two horses for dressage and participated in competitions. But the book is also inspired off all my experiences with horses (I started riding when I was eight years old), also from what my dream upbringing would have been - growing up on the wonderful Sweetbriars Farm.
Book two will be from the character Tabby's point of view. The fate of her poor horse Bliss and her loan horse Nancy will be revealed. Readers will also learn more about Tabby's glamorous mother and the mysterious neighbour Sophia.
Are you a plotter...or ...a start writing and see where it takes you sort of writer?
I am a plotter however I learnt so much from doing this first book and working with a good editor in London. Next time I will plot the story again, but I also think it's good to leave room for 'seeing where the story can take you'...
What do you hope that middle grade readers will take away from your stories?
I hope that readers will not only find the books fun to read, but they will also be inspiring and help readers to learn more about horses.
I also found that adults that love horses and animals are enjoying the story a lot, so that is very nice.
How can young readers discover more about you and your work?
Website: www.sweetbriarsfarm.com / readers can join the Sweetbriars Club to find out more information about the book, characters and also book two!
Here's a little bit more about Hollie..
Hollie Anne Marsh is an Australian author who lives in Barcelona Spain, with her partner, baby boy, and Oldenburg mare, Frieda.
Hollie has been riding since she was a little girl, enjoying activities such as Pony Club, show-jumping, eventing, and trail-riding in the great Australian bush. Hollie lived in England for almost ten years where she had two horses and trained them for dressage.
The Sweetbriars series is inspired by all the special moments Hollie spent with horses... good, funny, and challenging moments!
Huge thanks to Hollie for sharing the details of SweetBriars: Leaving the City with us today and for giving such a wonderful insight into her writing life.