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The Horse Lover's Blog

Keeping Barney

I'm thinking about Keeping Barney, my first book, and suddenly the one I'm hearing about from fans--young women now, who say it was an influential book for them. It was a long time ago for me, that book. I wrote it during my junior year at Wellesley, while taking a semester off and working in a hotel laundry. Submitted it, got a superbly informative rejection from Ann Tobias, then at Greenwillow; revised it, and it sold about a month before I graduated, in 1981.
It was a young book, a passionate book, and it took me about a decade to figure out what I'd done and how to do something like that again. I wish I'd understood earlier, connected with other writers earlier, had more years actively publishing with the incredible Susan Hirschman. Other than that, no regrets, just a sense of puzzlement that a book by such a very young person could be so important to other young people. It only confirms what I've always suspected; most of the time we have no idea what we're doing. In a good way.
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