Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Meet MG/PreTeen Author Christine Meunier

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcome Christine Meunier, author of the MG/PreTeen Free Rein Series. Can't think of any Middle Graders who don't love horses, can you?

First, a bit about Christine:

I am a Christian who loves horses and is addicted to learning as much as I can about them and passing this on to others. I love to write and consequently have combined my faith, love of horses, learning and writing into the Free Rein series, which is aimed at 8 – 12 year olds.

Why did you pick to write books for MG/PreTeens?

Many children go through a pony phase, and it’s at this age that they may be lucky enough to discover the joys of reading. I know I did! I love the idea of being able to reach this age group through my writing, and being able to teach them about horses at an age when they will devour every book they can get their hands on.

What types of books do you like to read?
Anything horse related. I also really enjoy novels by Lori Wick and am a huge fan of Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby series.  The Bible is a must read for me on a regular basis, too.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Read, study, garden, play guitar and listen to music, and spend time with my husband.

Tell us about Free Reign, and how the story came to be.

Free Reign is the third book in the Free Rein series. The King family are now settled into Victoria after their move from South Australia. Young Jacqui King is having a ball learning to ride on a pony Matty that her parents have leased for her. The book is a follow on from New Beginnings and In Pursuit of a Horse and continues to explore a young rider’s love of horses, learning about them and growing in her faith.

Here's a peek at Free Reign:
Jacqui is having a ball with her two closest friends Geordie and Hannah. All three have ponies that they are keeping at Jacqui’s parents’ property Genesis. Over the school holidays they’re taking advantage of opportunities to spend as much time in the saddle as possible.

After a growth spurt, Jacqui is amazed to find that her teenage instructor Kara suggests that her pony Matty may be too small for her. Jacqui is devastated to think she may not be able to ride for much longer.

An unexpected announcement from her parents brings more bad news. Jacqui is sad and confused. Why would God have the family move interstate where they could set up a horse property and then take it all away?

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

As mentioned above, this is the third book in the series. New Beginnings is book one of the Free Rein series and introduces readers to a 10-year-old Jacqui King who is excited to be moving from South Australia to Victoria because of a job transfer for her father. Her excitement is purely because they are moving to a large property for lease and will be able to set up a horse business.

Prior to the Free Rein series, I released my debut novel Horse Country (www.horsecountrybook.com) which follows the lives of four young women working and studying in the horse industry. It is a large book that covers six years in the industry, enlightening the reader to what they can expect with regards to job roles, hours, travel overseas and number of horses the may be working with, if working with riding school horses, or breeding thoroughbreds. It is based on a lot of my experience over the past 10 years in the horse industry.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I aim to continue working on the Free Rein series to further develop the characters Jacqui, Geordie, and Hannah.  I am also working on a story where a young woman moves to a tropical island with her husband and considers the idea of importing horses and setting up a trail riding business on an island where horses don’t live, and she doesn’t speak the local language.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Be passionate about your work–the more passionate you are about sharing it with others, the more likely people will be to check out what you’ve done. Never stop networking or pursuing possible avenues of publicity. Generosity goes a long way too.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Horses are incredible animals. I love to write and hope that through doing so, I can introduce others to the joys of learning about horses. My books are written to inform as well as entertain–I hope they do so!

Where can readers find you and your books?

Head along to http://www.freereinseries.com/ for updates on the series and be sure to stop by at http://www.facebook.com/FreeReinSeries to like the series and read about updates and competitions from time to time.

The books can be purchased via the Free Rein site, or directly from http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/christinemeunier.


  1. I like the idea of children reading fiction that also includes learning. These books sound great for horse mad pre-teens :)


  2. Well, I just found a Christmas gift! Thank you for helping me discover this author and her books.

  3. Hi Catherine!

    I think all books should instil learning to their readers :)

    Tiffiny, great to hear they could appeal as a Christmas gift!

  4. Christine - I love the three topics (faith, horses & reading) that you have combined. It is so nice to *meet* you. Thanks for introducing us to her, Cheryl, and for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop!
    ~Cool Mom for the
    Stanley & Katrina Gang

  5. Hi Cool Mom!

    I'm glad you love the topics - I love to write about them!


  6. Ok, are you sitting down? My daughter will refuse to read anything that has horses featured (new development!) We have reviewed a couple of books that were about horses, but she's really put her foot down now. I know... where did I go wrong? I read ANYTHING that was REMOTELY about horses at her age! Geez... Thank you for introducing us to another author Cheryl!

  7. Renee, my goodness! Is there a particular reason she refuses? Reading often isn't fun if we can't read what we enjoy!