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1-If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? Why? What would you say to them?
Anne Frank. I would tell her how much she inspired me, that she inspired me to read and think and feel at a time when no book really called to me, and most importantly I would say sorry. A huge sorry for the atrocities she experienced.
2 What are you currently reading?
Just finished the new Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. I read a lot of different genres.
3 Who’s your favorite author?
4-Why did you start writing?
Bored at home with a three-month-old *lol*. Actually I was on the road doing event PR with our baby and my hubby at the time, had some down time and missed writing longer pieces – my first career was as a journalist. Having an outlet and being able to continue and explore my passion for writing really helped me survive life at home with children.
5- Please give us the title and genre of your book and a 100-character or less tagline:
Title: RACE GIRL
Genre: Young Adult
Tagline: A boy and a girl. A forbidden love. And a Melbourne Cup dream that will make them or break them.
6- Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Girls aged 12 – 18, and any girl or woman who is in need of a little inspiration. I love writing for and about girls of this age group as they have the world at their fingertips – I want them to know they can do whatever they want and be whoever they want to be.
7-How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The book was inspired by the incredible female jockeys risking their lives every day for the horses and the sport they love. Also the beautiful valley we live in near Dayboro, Queensland (Australia) and the gorgeous thoroughbred farms near Beaudesert – we pass them often when travelling down to northern NSW and I’ve always wanted to set a story there.
8-Tell us about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The cover image is shot at our property and features our off-the-track thoroughbred, ‘Handsome Brad’, and two dear friends of mine, Jake and Ruby. My superstar sister did the design as she has all of my books and the image was shot by fab local photographer Shae McKay of Fine Velvet Photography. I even got the shirts custom made as I felt that Race Girl deserved a fantastic, authentic cover and overall design.
9-Who would you cast for the main characters if your book became a movie?
Jake and Ruby! It’s uncanny how much they resemble Tully and Brandon.
10-How about an excerpt from your book meant to capture our imagination and make us want to read more?
Fia had warned that Xena wasn’t a huge fan of the barriers. They were starting out in a chute, unlike the longer races which started on the course proper, and it took two attendants to pull Xena in, then push her powerful chestnut hindquarters into the heritage green gate. Tully didn’t have time for nerves out here – the other jockeys, many who were Birdsville veterans, called out to her and chatted like bar patrons as they waited for the lights to turn and the gates to open.
Tully stifled a cry as Xena jumped backwards, then slammed her into the right side with a sharp clang of metal. Xena reared, then dropped her head, bringing all four legs up into a cow hop. Jesus, Tully thought, yanking the mare up, doing her best to keep her feet shielded from any further assaults. Aunt Fia, what have you gotten me into!
Xena reared again at the sound of a foghorn in the roiling, several-thousand strong crowd – a rowdier, more colourful bunch than Tully, and Xena, apparently, was used to. Xena pulled for her head and arched her back like she was going to buck, sending Tully’s heart up through the top of the barrier—‘Holy—’
The gate flung open and Tully was sure she heard a jockey holler: ‘Welcome to Birdsville, darlin’!’ before the horses tore off across the dry clay surface, vying for the rail.
Thanks so much for having me! xx
Race Girl by Leigh Hutton
(The Go Girls Chronicles #3)
Publication date: April 3rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Fresh on the heels of Michelle Payne’s historic Melbourne Cup win, comes a blockbuster Australian story about a Queensland girl and the ‘race that stops a nation’ . . .
Tully Athens has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of her hero Michelle Payne. Of living up to the Athens name and becoming the third generation of women from her family to rule the track. But Tully’s never been sure she’s got the nerve, and when her mother is killed in a racing accident, her whole world is shattered.
Six months later, in the heat of a Queensland summer, sixteen-year-old Tully is ready to face her fears. But getting back in the saddle leads to a whole lot more than she bargained for, with an out of control crush on the boy from their rival thoroughbred farm – the gorgeous but cocky larrikin Brandon Weston – and a forgotten filly with stardom in her eyes . . .
When faced with the most difficult decision of her life, will Tully choose to train and race her new filly in Melbourne? Or will she sacrifice it all to fight for love on the land that feeds her soul?
It’s only when tragedy rips everything from her that Tully finds a strength and courage she never knew she had, in this action-packed novel of passion, adventure and determination.
RACE GIRL is the highly anticipated third book in The Go Girls Chronicles – bestselling stories of gutsy girls in action sports, by Leigh Hutton!
*A PORTION OF EVERY #RaceGirl book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and to horse-welfare charity, Equine Action Qld*
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Leigh Hutton is a former Courier-Mail journalist, dirt bike racer and horse show jumper. Leigh was born in Canada and lives on rural property in southeast Queensland, Australia, with her husband and three young children. When she isn’t writing, managing the relocation and restoration of historic ‘Queenslander’ homes, wrangling the kids or swilling coffee, she loves to read, watch smart TV and movies, ride her motorbike and daydream about gorgeous horses. Her family spell racehorses at their property and making friends with each one is also a favourite pastime of Leigh and her children. Leigh is especially passionate about promoting the growing number of girls and women in all action and equestrian sports, and is thrilled to be drawing on her experiences to bring you the exciting novels of The Go Girls Chronicles . . .
Book one, REV GIRL, OUT NOW!
Book two, JUMP GIRL, OUT NOW!
Book three, RACE GIRL, out April 3rd, 2016!