• I grew up on a small farm in Westminster Vt. In 1981 I sold my first book, Keeping Barney,  to Susan Hirschman at Greenwillow, married Michael J. Daley, and graduated from Wellesley College, all in the same month. We live in the off-grid cabin we built in 1984, next door to the family farm. 
     I’ve published over 40 books for readers of all ages, most about horses, including poetry, picture books, early readers, middle grade novels and nonfiction; YA novels, and nonfiction for adults. Shaper was a Golden Kite Honor book; Hoofprints was a VOYA Poetry Pick; Horse Crazy! and The Horse-Lover’s Encyclopedia won the American Horse Publications Award for nonfiction books. Many titles including the Bramble and Maggie series (Candlewick) and Chase (Greenwillow) have been Junior Library Guild Selections.
    I also have a manuscript critique and editorial service focused on building tension in middle grade and YA novels. Slackness in a story is a sign that some important element is out of balance; solving for tension tends to uncover the problem.


  • I love horses, my Vermont countryside, and history. These passions have always permeated my work. To bring a character, human or animal, to life; to help a reader understand another way of life; to craft an elegant or forceful sentence, according to what’s needed–these have always been my idea of fun. I grew up when the old-time Vermont ways were passing. I am deeply connected to them, and resent any superficial representation of a way of life I honor. Since I demand that authenticity from others, I am very sensitive about attempting to portray cultures to which I don’t belong. For that reason my characters will always look like me–except the ones who are animals.

    I work at a scene, and a sequence, until it seems real. That takes me much longer than it did when I was younger. I sometimes find that frustrating, but on a good day it’s the best job there is.

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    Say What, Horse?