Camille Matthews is a lifelong equestrian, avid reader and student of politics who blogs and is an op ed contributor. She teamed with illustrator, Michelle Black to create the Quincy the Horse Books for children ages 5-10. The first two books in the series, Quincy Finds A New Home, published in 2009 and the sequel, Quincy Moves to the Desert, which released in August 2011, were both awarded a Mom’s Choice Gold Award.
Matthews is also a clinical social worker and writer who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, complex PTSD and attachment disorders. In 2002, she received her certification in the new field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and established the Pathfinder Program in Farmington, NM where she treated adolescents, children and women victims of domestic violence using EAP. She relocated to the Reading, PA area from Northwestern New Mexico in 2010.
Most are unaware that the books are loosely based on a real horse. The real Quincy is now 20 years old and has many accomplishments under his belt. He is an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy horse and the protagonist of the Quincy the Horse Books; but to his family, he will always be known as “Little Quince.” His neighbors are Silver, an Irish sport horse, who is the big guy, and Buck, a tall, rangy gray, who is the head guy. On the whole, Quincy usually has to go along with whatever his big brothers want.
“I bought Quincy because my old Quarterhorse, Beaujolais needed a partner at our new home in New Mexico. I planned to have a small horse barn on my property rather than stabling my horses in a boarding facility. Beau and Quincy hit it off from day one. Quincy looked up to Beau and wanted to be with him and Beau clearly enjoyed having Quincy as a friend,” shares Matthews.
Little kids love horses and Matthews truly knew what she was doing when she took some of the events happening with the real Quincy and put them into a book for young readers. And even though the main character is a horse, children delight in learning that anyone or any animal goes through many of the same things they do, such as moving to a new home, making friends and discovering who we are in this big world around us.
“Readers will not be surprised to hear that one of my first ideas for a story was a plot where Quincy wants more than anything to be a calm trail horse but his Big Problem is he has an irresistible impulse to buck. I could see humor in that story line. Maybe I wanted to laugh rather than cry!
“In the end, I settled on a more gentle tone about his every day adventures. I also decided to highlight his personality and loving bonds to his best friend, Beau and to me. I hoped that children would relate to his day-to-day challenges and the way he tried to find answers to his problems. I especially hoped they would enjoy being part of Quincy’s world and learning the joys of life with horses,” shares Matthews.
Both books in the Quincy the Horse series are beautifully illustrated by Michelle Black and to add the real-life feel of the words. In the first book, Quincy Finds a New Home, a new owner comes to the farm where Quincy. At first, Quincy feels sad and confused. His new home is the biggest barn he has ever seen. The people at the new barn are friendly, but Quincy is not sure of himself. Quincy also meets a new friend named Beau but there is a BIG problem. There are horseshows every Sunday and Quincy does not know how to jump and win ribbons. At first, Quincy does not know what to do but in the end, Beau and Quincy find an answer.
In this second book, Quincy Moves to the Desert, Quincy and his friend Beau leave the comforts of home and go on a big trip. Quincy sees amazing sights and learns new things, mostly about horses of course! Beau, who loves to talk, is in his element as Quincy’s tour guide. But Quincy has learned something very important about himself.
Matthews shares ,“Quincy has always been a beautiful sight with his shiny copper coat, a white blaze and soft brown eyes. He and I have always had a special bond.” The events that inspired the Quincy the Horse Books happened many years ago when Quincy came to live with Matthews and she brought him from New York, where she had lived for many years, to New Mexico. I am sure readers would enjoy knowing more about their real life adventures and even meeting the Real Quincy at their website.
You can find out more about Camille Matthews and her World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Matthews and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children. The hosts chatted with Camille Matthews about her books, writing, the publishing industry and experiences.