About the author
Judy Waite is one of four children, and loved dogs and horses as a child, so much so that she would go to the local park and rescue any dog she found wandering alone, and would take it home and present it to her mother. She would, she said, have done the same with horses if she could have got away with it. She wrote frantically too, and her mother still has many of the magazines she created, which Judy still uses occasionally when she goes into schools.
She started writing when her children were small, using a junk shop typewriter, but has now progressed to a computer. Her books have covered most age ranges, from picture books to teenage novels. Now she teaches creative writing to MA students at University College, Winchester, though she says on her website that writing is ‘just about rolling your sleeves up and getting on with it.’
Her Horse Healer series she describes as ‘A set of books for 9-12 year old readers about a gypsy boy with a gift for healing horses. Although these are about horses, I hope they are gritty enough and cover enough themes, to make them appeal firstly to boys as well as girls (particularly those boys who might turn their noses up at the idea of horse stories) and secondly to readers who don’t even particularly like horses.’ (Wordpool interview)
The books are unusual in featuring a boy, and particularly a gypsy who is portrayed positively: historically gypsies have been the villains in pony literature, there only to steal the heroine’s pony.
Finding the book
None of the books are still in print, but all are easy to find.
Sources and links
Judy Waite’s website
An interview with Judy Waite (Wordpool site; no longer available)
Biographical information from the OUP website (no longer available)
Judy Waite’s research interests at the University of Winchester
Thanks to Hannah Fleetwood for all her help with photographs and blurbs.
The Horse Healer Series
Hippo, pb, London, 1999, 180 pp.
“Eclipse is one of the most beautiful horses Nicky has ever seen. But Eclipse belongs to Edward who doesn’t like Nicky at all. He knows his secret night-time rides can only lead him into trouble, but Nicky needs Eclipse. And Eclipse might need Nicky, and his special gift, too.”
Hippo, pb, London, 1999, 205 pp.
“When Nicky first sees Puzzle, he knows there’s something special about him. Everyone else thinks Puzzle’s just a no-hoper. Then the new stable manager, Lynette, discovers Puzzle’s surprising talent. Nicky has to decide whether to help Lynette train Puzzle, or whether to just walk away.”
Hippo, pb, London, 1999, 232 pp.
Fern can’t afford to keep blue-eyed Sapphire. New Age travellers have arrived, and Nicky is supposed to avoid them.
Hippo, pb, London, 2000, 212 pp.
Nicky is brought in to use his healing skills on Starlight, a beautiful film star horse, but Nicky hates the way the film company treat her. Nicky doesn’t fit in to the strange film world, and finds himself developing a bond with Starlight.