TSB Author Linda Snow McLoon Talks About Her New Fiction for Young Horse Lovers, OTTBs, and Always Having Enough Carrots

Trafalgar Square Books caught up with Linda Snow McLoon, author of an all-new fiction series for young horse lovers: THE BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES. Crown Prince and its follow-up, Crown Prince Challenged, star an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Crown Prince and a group of young riders who are best friends, jealous rivals, and aspiring competitors at Brookmeade Farm. We asked Linda about the source of her inspiration, her own experience with ex-racehorses, and to share some of the books she loved to read as a little girl.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

TSB: Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged?

LSM: As a girl, I wanted a horse more than anything, and this led me to write the story of a girl who struggled to have a horse of her own. When I sat down at the keyboard, the Crown Prince Ouija took over, leading me to the adventures of Sarah Wagner and Crown Prince.

TSB: Have you always written fiction geared toward young adults? What precipitated this foray into writing for this age group?

LSM: I choose to write stories for all those young adults who dearly love horses.

TSB: Did you have a “Crown Prince” in your life? Can you tell us about the first horse that captured your heart?

LSM: There’s always something special about one’s first horse, and for me, that was a gray Saddlebred named Clipper that I took care of and rode when he wasn’t being used in a summer camp riding program. I’ll always remember the night I went for a moonlight ride without telling my parents and ended up with a posse out searching for me.

Linda Snow McLoon and the OTTB Gamekeeper.

TSB: Crown Prince is an off-the-track Thoroughbred—have you worked with OTTBs and if so, how did you come to make retired racehorses part of your horse life?

LSM: I’ve always loved the athleticism and sensitivity of Thoroughbred horses, and over the years, I became foster mom for many OTTBs that were beginning a new career as sport horses after racing. It always gave me a great deal of pleasure to help them make the transition.

TSB: What is it that you think readers will most identify with in terms of Sarah’s life and experiences with Crown Prince and the Young Riders?

LSM: Readers will immediately sense the deep bond between Sarah and Crown Prince. Any reader who has longed for a horse of her own will understand Sarah’s love for Crown Prince and cheer as she fights to make him her own.

TSB: What was your favorite horse book as a little girl? As a teenager?

LSM: From the time I began reading horse books, I was a huge fan of Walter Farley and his Black Stallion books. I also enjoyed Marguerite Henry’s books with their wonderful illustrations by Wesley Dennis, especially King of the Wind and Album of Horses.

TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?

LSM: It would be a Thoroughbred, and I never tire of reading books by the master, Walter Farley. When I was in high school, I and a friend visited him at his family’s beach house in Venice, Florida. He was a gracious host.

TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?

LSM: Plenty of carrots – just in case!

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

LSM: Being close to a horse and watching his eyes soften and wrinkle in the corners as I stroke and talk softly to him.

Linda competing Bayberry cross-country.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.

LSM: My parents were visiting friends who had horses. My sister and I got to sit on them as they were led around a riding ring.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.

LSM: A horse I was riding bucked when it was stung by a bee. I remember someone saying that I looked very graceful as I floated to earth.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?

LSM: Like the Brookmeade Young Riders Series characters Sarah and Kayla, the ability to talk to each other about anything and everything.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?

LSM: I love horses that have a quality I’ll call “class,” which gives them high intelligence along with an easy-going disposition. Crown Prince is well-endowed with class!

TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback or with a horse that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?

LSM: To gallop down a hard-packed beach close to the white-capped surf with gulls swooping down – as Sarah does with Crown Prince in the second book in the series.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

LSM: Sitting around the table with family and good friends, regardless of what’s on the menu.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

LSM: To ride horseback in a place with a significant historical connection, such as when I rode down England’s Wenlock Edge. Legend has it that a Royalist officer in the English Civil War, when pursued by Cromwell’s army, galloped his horse down the Wenlock Edge and lived to tell about it.

TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

LSM: Abraham Lincoln

TSB: What is your motto?

LSM: Moderation in all things.


And check out cover artist Jennifer Brandon’s equestrian and canine paintings and portraits!

Introducing the BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES…Fiction for Young Horse Lovers, Coming Soon!!

Winston Churchill said, “There’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.”

Fact of the matter is, this could count for double in the world of preteens and teenagers. There’s nothing quite like horse-craziness to instill good work ethic, good sportsmanship, and a healthy body and mind…caring for, riding, and competing horses requires tired muscles, lots of time outdoors, and a willingness to be instructed, learn from mistakes, and put the well-being of another creature first.

There is no expiration date on such valuable lessons. Skills learned in the barn and on the back of a horse are as important today as they were fifty years ago.

That is why we at Trafalgar Square Books are so excited about the new BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES by Linda Snow McLoon. There’s a timelessness to the stories that speaks to all that young riders dream of, plus beautiful and challenging horses to ride, boys to like, coaches to impress, and jealous enemies to rise above.

“I really enjoyed the characters, the story line, and the writing, and more than anything else, the horsemanship that is woven into Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged,” says Susan Harris, Centered Riding Senior Instructor, international clinician, and author of the US Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship; Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement; Anatomy in Motion DVDs; and Grooming to Win. “I found the characters (especially Sarah Wagner), the horses, and the problems they face, believable and interesting, and the setting (a good boarding and teaching barn) authentic in today’s horse world, right down to the Jack Russell terriers. The reader will learn a lot about horses, good riding and horsemanship through these novels, but it’s part of the story, not a ‘lesson.’ I enjoyed the first book so much that I went right on to the second, and now I’m hoping the author is working on the next one! I highly recommend these books!”

Are you ready to meet the cast of characters in the BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES? We’ll let the author, Linda Snow McLoon, introduce you:

Brookmeade Farm riders are proud to have former Olympic rider, Jack O’Brien, head up the farm’s lesson program, and his students recognize that even though he makes them work hard, his instruction produces amazing results. The people who ride in his most advanced class, the Young Riders class, include:

Sarah Wagner is a slim girl with dark hair and long-lashed dark eyes who, in her lessons at Brookmeade Farm, has shown she’s a strong natural rider. Being somewhat shy and lacking in self-confidence, Sarah often depends on her best friend, Kayla Romano, to speak up for her. Sarah’s family can’t provide her with a horse of her own, but she can still dream. While her classmates all have their own horses, Sarah rides school horses in her lessons.

Kayla Romano has a chestnut Quarter Horse, Fanfare, whose red coat closely matches Kayla’s own hair color. Kayla isn’t hopeful she can attract a boyfriend until she sheds a few pounds, which she thinks would also improve her riding. Kayla and her mare trailer to Brookmeade for weekly lessons in the advanced Young Riders class and compete at local horse shows.

Paige Romano is a knock-out, with deep violet eyes, a clear complexion, and gorgeous blond hair. Her ever-present sense of humor makes her popular both at school and at Brookmeade Farm, where she rides her dappled gray Thoroughbred, Quarry, in the Young Riders class. Being competitive in nature, Paige is determined to train Quarry to be a successful event horse.

Tim Dixon, who dates Paige and also rides in the Young Riders class, found his horse, Rhodes Scholar, in Canada. Tim is a good-looking guy, tall, with intelligent brown eyes, and any number of girls at the farm and at school would like to trade places with Paige. Tim works hard to prepare his bay gelding to compete at events and horse shows.

Rounding out the Young Riders class is Rita Snyder, the girl who has everything. That includes her splendid black Dutch Warmblood, Chancellor, and a number of other horses that reside on her wealthy father’s estate. With long dark hair and intense green eyes, Rita is an excellent rider who brings out Chancellor’s best in both dressage and jumping – and Rita doesn’t let anyone forget it! She expects her horse to outshine all others, and she feels threatened when there’s a chance he won’t be clearly superior.

Get ready to follow along with the Young Riders as they experience all kinds of adventures in CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, now available for preorder at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

And be sure to check out author Linda Snow McLoon’s website http://www.lindasnowmcloon.com.