If you haven’t checked out Libby of High Hopes (my review)yet, you must. This is one of those feel-good novels that will make you smile and encourage you to chase your dreams.
Libby Thump Riding Princess is a middle grade illustrated novel about a young girl who wants riding lessons more than anything else in the world. With passion and her love for horses nothing can stop Libby. She tries to live up to her potential and in so doing changes the lives of everyone around her. source: Goodreads
Today, I also have the pleasure of sharing some of the author’s inspiration behind her novel. When Elise Primavera contacted me about reviewing her novel, I was so excited because not only has I just come across it in a bookstore, but I was excited to chat with an author!
Here’s our fun conversation!
I read on the jacket cover that you’ve been riding horses since you were young, Elise, and that it inspired you to write Libby. Was there a particular experience that led to Libby?
In writing LIBBY I would say it was not one particular experience that
inspired me but more of a wish to convey my own love and passion for horses
through the eyes of who I remember myself to be at that age.
The stable where I fist learned to ride was called Hy-Hopes Horse Farm. It
was owned by a friend of my mom’s brother and our family went out for a
Sunday drive to visit it. I was eight years old and remember distinctly
hearing the word “horse farm” and thinking how strange and wonderful — a
farm with nothing but horses! Little did any of us know that innocent Sunday
drive would turn out to be the motivating force in my life for the next
It was like falling in love. I was hit right between the eyes with this
force that I had to follow to its conclusion to see where it would take me.
It started out with lessons, then my own pony, my own horse, a move to a
place where we had our own barn, showing, three-day eventing, Pony Club,
almost as year in England, and finally a point where I knew I had gone as
far as I would. It was heart wrenching but my life’s work as an illustrator
and now writer of children’s books beckoned.
What is your High Hope with this novel? Or in other words, what do you hope to leave readers with?
My books always have an element of fantasy and magic to them — and most
would say that LIBBY is the first realistic book that I’ve written. But how
can anyone deny the magic of horses? What is it when you look into the eyes
of an animal that big and strong? Being able to control that power–riding
it over jumps really is the closet thing to flying. When you care for, ride
and compete the same horse for a number of years you know that animal in a
way that’s different from a human relationship but no less satisfying–and
there’s no other way to describe it than to say it’s magical.
And finally, what literary heroine inspires you?
The first that comes to mind is Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables. I love that character for her imagination, enthusiasm and most of all I think that she
and Libby are definitely “kindred spirits.”
Thank you so much for stopping by Elise! And I definitely agree with you, Libby and Anne are most definitely “kindred spirits.”
Elise Primavera has been writing and illustrating books for children for over twenty-five years. Libby of High Hopes was published in June of 2012 by Simon and Schuster, and her book, MS. RAPSCOTT’S GIRLS a middle grade illustrated novel will be published by Dial in 2013.