“Brumbies” is set in the high country of Australia. When city girl Louise moves to the country, she discovers the mountain brumbies are to be killed for pet food. A beautiful buckskin mare steals her heart, and with local farm boy Ben, she determines to save the wild horses. Against the odds, they arrange a muster, but nothing goes according to plan.
How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?
In a way, I think I’ve been wanting to write a horse story ever since I read “The Silver Brumby” as a girl. I remember doing so for my English Language exam before leaving school, and gained an A+ for a story written from a horse’s perspective. I’d never visited Australia then, but now I live in brumby territory; it’s amazing how life works out.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I’ve caught and broken in brumbies myself, and love the alpine region of Australia, an area larger than Switzerland! Many people in the world don’t associate Australia with mountains and snow, so it’s been fun to share my love with others.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
As an author, I think there is a little of me in all my characters, after all, we can only write from experience (whether that be first hand, read about or heard). But the main female character lives a life I would have loved to have had as a young person, but didn’t.
Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
Old Harry, the hermit that lives rough in the national park. Readers gradually learn more about him and how he came to be where he is through the five books in the series. Adults are suspicious of him, but he helps young people and animals.
What are you working on right now?
I have just finished the first draft of book three in the series, and yesterday spent a few hours plotting in detail book four with my illustrator, Rowena Evans. We have a lot of fun working together, and I use her creative maps of the country the novels are set in as a guide when I write. Her maps are included in the novels as well as beautiful black and white drawings of the characters and animals they encounter.
Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?
Horse lovers! Any age, eight to eighty, though officially the target audience is ten to twelve year olds.
What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write.
Have you written any other books?
Yes, my debut novel “The Okapi Promise” was published last year. It is a travel adventure set in Africa in 1990, where I spent several months experiencing wildlife, civil wars, interpersonal relationships on a tough overland trip. Add to that a plot about the discovery of a rabies serum deep in the jungle…you get the idea.
Where can people learn more about your books?
Start with the publisher, http://www.IFWGPublishing.com. They’re a great team, and have given me enormous support. I look forward to working with them over the rest of the series of “Brumbies”, and hopefully other adventures in the future.
You can read more about me at http://www.paulaboer.com. Thank you.