Alyssa Brugman grew up reading pony books set in England or America: with plenty of pony content, but things alien to Australia like hunting and ranches. When she grew up, she was determined to write pony books which Australian readers would recognise, and this was the start of the Shelby series. She has written other, non-horsey, books for teenagers, and these have been picked up by Faber in the UK.
So what are the Shelby books like?
The books come very highly recommended by the Australian members on the forum on my old website. Stardust said:
'To me, Alyssa's books capture the true essence of the love and bond shared between a girl and her pony. This dedication is beautifully blended into plots that feature true to life situations which we all at times encounter in the 'Horsey World'. Alyssa has a light and entertaining style but is also adept at portraying humour, suspense, compassion and intrigue. The human characters are those you feel you may have met before, or may already [know]. You may even recognise parts of your own self in the books somewhere! The horsey characters are a delight, and you can feel yourself developing a connection with them too. Much as I adore our British counterparts, it was so refreshing to read pony fiction from a great Aussie author who obviously knows horses, people and how to concoct the two to ensure a fabulous read for the young, and young at heart!'
Finding the books
Now available as ebooks. Some do turn up secondhand in the UK.
Links and sources
Alyssa has her own website, but has kindly written something for this site on her books.