Having just read a forum thread on Children’s Fiction I found myself smiling in agreement at the comments which mostly preferred realistic fun story lines rather than the usual kid’s stories involving young kids – riding stallions, going to the Olympics, hiding horses, stealing horses on welfare grounds, riding at night, riding racehorses at night, just to name a few common themes apparently. I supposed as adults we were more critical of weird story lines but it seems most of the forum users knew as kids that many of the story lines were bogus, just proving that kids (and horses) are smarter than some people think!
The challenge is producing YA equestrian fiction that is appealing to publishers as well as the readers. My experience with publishers is their belief the majority of readers of children’s equine fiction are non-horsey kids but my belief is that there is a huge knowledgeable audience who do not want their story lines to be fantasy – that’s a different genre! The riding YA fiction readers want something more familiar containing accurate and relevant horse driven story lines. Publishers have told me this is a niche audience and not one they’re interested in, understandably if they don’t think they can sell to that audience.
So as an equestrian YA writer I felt I had no real alternative but to go indy publishing!