After Tabby’s father vanishes, a deep rift develops in Tabby’s family. Tabby’s mother is focused on being a star performer in her pharmaceutical sales career, while Ava, Tabby’s older sister, is living with grandparents in Cornwall. Tabby feels neglected by her mother and jealous of Ava and although outwardly diligent and responsible, she’s like a kettle about to blow its top… bottling things up until it’s nearly impossible to keep a lid on her frustration and sadness.
Tabby finds solace with her best friends Cate and Violet at Sweetbriars Farm where she is nursing her dream horse Bliss back to peak performance, to be able to participate in the try-outs for the British Young Riders Squad.
Tabby also finds herself facing other challenges – saving her beloved horse Nancy from the knacker’s yard and finding the courage to tell her friends the truth about her family.
Will Tabby be able to save the horses she loves and be brave enough to tell people how she really feels?
When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write in the morning and I usually write at home or in a cafe. I sometimes write at night before bed, however, I usually regret it, as my mind is buzzing half the night.
Do you have a certain ritual?
Nothing super unique or interesting I am afraid. I usually have coffee, take my toddler to day-care and tidy the house a bit. I’m a bit OCD and I can’t stand to sit in a mess. I also love to work in fresh air. I usually try to break the day up with exercise, like yoga or running on the beach. I’m quite lucky living in Barcelona and only a ten-minute stroll from the Mediterranean.
Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
When the weather is warm, I usually drink water with lemon or if I remember cucumber or orange. If it’s cold, I drink a lot of tea; peppermint, chai and regular English tea.
What is your favourite book?
Well, Shantaram comes to my mind straight away. I like memoirs and true stories… also learning about unique characters, unique stories with lots of adventure and set in new places.
Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Yes. I began writing ‘kind of’ a memoir when I had some time away from this Sweetbriars book. I think I want to base it on a true story, but also with a little bit of fiction. I had quite a unique upbringing which I think could make an interesting story. However, it feels huge to write this… backtracking through old memories, then putting my perspective on things and how I ended up where I am. I have started the manuscript but now I am thinking of changing the way I approach it. Anyway, I need to figure it out. I also have an idea for a mystery which would be maybe more YA and I have that story quite defined in my mind versus the memoir.
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Yes, I do! Many of my animal characters are based on animals I had or knew… right down to their names and habits. For the human characters, I sometimes get ideas from people I know and start with that… but then the character evolves.
Do you take a notebook everywhere to write down ideas that pop up?
I did initially, but these days I usually email myself ideas from my phone and then capture it in a word document when I am back at my computer.
Which genre do you not like at all?
I am not into fantasy so much. Although any genre that is well written, I’d be interested to check out and give it a go.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Maybe Elizabeth Gilbert. I find her insightful, truthful and witty. I am interested in authors that write honestly, provide a unique perspective on things, and you can relate to them. As I’ve travelled a lot and had my fair share of relationship sagas (fortunately in my old life), I think I can relate to her. She is also quite funny, and I guess she’s just quite real to me.
If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I have travelled to many places in the world, but I haven’t seen very much of South America. I did go to Mexico and Cuba and figure there are many similarities… but I haven’t been to South America itself. So, I would like to go there and take my time visiting different cities and landscapes. I’d love to go to the Galapagos Islands and see the whales and dolphins, and definitely visit Machu Picchu in Peru.
Thank you, Hollie Anne Marsh and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Hollie Anne Marsh is an Australian author who lives in Barcelona, Spain with her partner, baby boy and horse Frieda.
Hollie has been horse riding since she was a little girl, enjoying activities such as Pony Club, showjumping, 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!
Additionally the ‘coming of age’ and ‘growing up’ experiences that Hollie had.
Hollie hopes that readers will be able to identify with the characters, find the books fun to read, and they will help readers learn more about horses.
Website – www.sweetbriarsfarm.com
Instagram – my author page – https://www.instagram.com/hollieannemarsh/