Adventure and friendship in Seaview Stables
25th Aug 18

Adventure and friendship in Seaview Stables

Look out for friends, bullies, ponies and jam warfare! in this fabulous new series from Tracey Corderoy called SEAVIEW STABLES.

In the first book, THE PONY WITH NO NAME, we are introduced to Bryony, who moves to the village of Brooke Vale with her family and falls in love with a pony whose owner isn't as friendly as she had hoped...

We asked author TRACEY CORDEROY to tell us more about SEAVIEW STABLES:

Q: What inspired you to write this series about a special bond between a girl, Bryony, and a pony?

A: I have always adored animals. They love you unconditionally, they are there in good times and bad, the bond you can make with your special pet can change your life. Sometimes animals can sense things that humans just can't. There's no need for words, they just get it and are there for you. That's something I was keen to explore in a story.

Then one day a conversation I had took the desire to explore that bond a bit further. My writing agent has a daughter and my agent told me that when they moved to a new village her daughter discovered an ad in the Post Office window. A girl in the village wanted a friend to help her with her pony. But things didn't work out as my agent's daughter had hoped, and she and the girl with the pony did not become friends.

This story I found very intriguing. Expectations can build us up and let us down very quickly. And things don't always go as we hope, as much as we might long for them to.

Then I started thinking about my main character, Bryony, and how she dealt with the 'stuff' that life had already thrown at her - and future unknowns waiting in the wings to happen.

I wanted this series to be about more than just mysteries and ponies, although these are both strong threads running through it. I also wanted it to be about how you deal with what life throws at you.

Q: Why did you choose to make Bryony pony-mad, would you have loved to own a pony as a child?

A: The thought of owning a pony as a child never crossed my mind to be honest. I was born, and grew up, on a big council estate in South Wales and it wasn't the norm there. I did, however, manage to finally persuade my mother to let me keep a stray kitten. I used to push Tibby around in my doll's pram. Tibby hated it.

Having a pony as the special animal in Bryony's life allows her to get out and about with Red. They can go on adventures together and explore Bryony's new surroundings. It helps her make a strong group of other pony-mad friends, and the SUPER SIX (all their ponies are so different as you'll see in book 2!) can't wait to trot off together to solve a meaty Brook Dale mystery!

Q: There's a lot of detail about looking after ponies in the book - is this something you needed to research or are you a regular at the local stables?

A: It was research, research, research! I mean - really. The local stable was on speed dial, I asked pony-mad friends questions incessantly and I read, read, READ about ponies all the time! Then, when I eventually went to the stables and rode an actual pony, Howie, all the research made TOTAL SENSE.

I know that you have to do it to really get it. It was just that my schedule was crazy busy at the time, but I learned my lesson and I will ride again. (Ha! I sound a bit like John Wayne there...)

Q: Bryony and her family move to a small town by the sea - is the setting based on somewhere you know, or would like to know?

A: Well, I did live by the sea in Port Talbot, but Brook Dale, I guess, is more like The Gower, which is just magnificent. It isn't based on a particular place, just the magical seaside cove I've grown to love visiting in my head while I write the stories.

Now I live in the countryside in a little hidden valley in the Cotswolds. So the seaside/ countryside combination that'll you'll read about in the series I do know a lot about first hand. I've always found the sea completely captivating.

Q: There are some great friendships in this story - what for you makes a real best friend?

A: One that you know will accept you for who you are, and will allow you to see who they are too, deep down.

Q: You also explore bullying in the story - why did you want to introduce this, can reading about it help children deal with bullies?

A: Sadly it happens in life a lot, doesn't it? And it's something that probably isn't going to go away so it's good to have strategies to call upon should you need them. I was bullied at school, we probably all were. Bryony is crushed by her experience of bullying, and has to dig deep to finally see a way through. She does get there eventually, though, with the help of her family, her best friend, Emma, and of course Red.

In the story Bryony shows her sadness and vulnerability although she's fighting a battle with herself not to. It's good to show that it's okay to be open and honest about how you feel with those you love and trust, and hopefully this story will help children see that.

Q: I loved all the characters you bring into the story - who is your favourite 'secondary' character?

A: I think it has to be Miss Pigeon, right? I mean, she bonkers but has a heart of gold too when it counts!

Q: What are you planning next for Bryony and Seaview Stables?

A: Ah, now the next story has a very exciting 'ghostly' mystery attached, as well as a thrilling gymkhana. Georgina Brook is still up to no good, and Bryony has a lot on her plate. Red is little STAR, but will anyone get to see his potential? And I'm not saying any more. Shh...

Q: The Pony With No Name is a great summer read. Do you have some other favourite adventures stories you'd recommend to children?

A: My children used to love a bit of Eva Ibbotson in the summer. But, you know, there's so much great stuff out there now, so I'd say get down to your local library, or bookshop, and see what you're drawn to. That's always a very good start!

Q: What would be your perfect summer?

A: It would definitely be spending time with my family, whether at home or going out and about. I love visiting old castles and houses. Oh, and afternoon tea with friends is great! I'd also love time to read all my favourite books again, or dip into some exciting new ones.

Q: What is the best question you've ever been asked by one of your readers?

A: Well, they do ask really good - and sometimes hilarious questions. Certainly the funniest to date has been: 'Does your agent open doors for you and buy you burgers like football agents do?'

And just in case you're wondering, the answer is - "
No wait! I'll just leave it to your imagination... ;)

The Pony With No Name by Tracey Corderoy is out now (Simon & Schuster, 6.99

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