Deleted scenes · Pony Jumpers series · Six to Ride

SIX TO RIDE – Deleted Scene Unlocked!

6TR

You did it! SIX TO RIDE now has 10 Amazon reviews, and 9 of them are five-star reviews, which is just awesome. Thanks so much to everyone who has reviewed!!

So as promised, here is the first full deleted scene from the book. It’s not long, but I still like it and thought it was worth sharing 🙂  Enjoy!


“I can’t believe I don’t get to come!” AJ scowled at me from her seat on the couch.

“I know, it sucks,” I said sympathetically, tucking my feet up underneath me. It was a warm afternoon, and my bare legs were sticking to each other.

“Do you want to know what actually sucks?”

We both looked over at Anders, who was half-sitting, half-lying on the other couch in the Macleans’ living room.

“Let me guess. Being you?” AJ asked him.

“Correct.”

“Tragedy,” AJ told him, pulling a mournful face and tracing a line down her cheek from the corner of her eye.

“Cow,” he muttered.

AJ looked slightly affronted. She stabbed an accusing finger in his direction. “Cripple.”

“What does that make me?” I asked quickly, trying to ease the tension. I felt bad for Anders, who wasn’t coping at all well with being immobile. He’d been in a foul mood for the last few days, lying idly on the couch with his busted leg stretched out in front of him, propped up by multiple cushions and pillows.

“Trouble,” Anders said swiftly, then winked at me and making me even hotter than I was before. I hoped he couldn’t tell how much my face was flushing.

“Whatever. As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted, you’ll text me as soon as you know, right?” AJ asked. She turned towards me as she spoke, which had the simultaneous effect of turning her back to Anders. He closed his eyes, ignoring us both.

“As soon as what?”

She rolled her eyes. “As soon as Tess tells you anything.”

“Oh! Yeah, definitely.”

“Don’t you think that if she wanted you to know, she’d tell you herself?” Anders asked, his eyes still closed.

“Don’t you think that if we wanted your opinion, we’d ask for it?” AJ retorted.

“You’re not exactly being quiet,” he snapped back. “And I can’t get up and walk out of the room, as much as I want to right now.”

AJ stood up. “Fine, we’ll get out of your hair. C’mon Katy, let’s leave Grumpy McGee here to his moaning and complaining.”

I opened my mouth to say that I didn’t mind when a sharp knock came at the front door, making us all jump and sending Dax, their German Shepherd guard dog, into a frenzy.

“And so you should,” AJ told him, speaking loudly to be heard over his frantic barking. “If anyone else in the world slept on the job as much as you do they’d be fired.”

I listened to her following the dog down the hall, telling him to shut up and sit down, then the front door opening and a voice that sounded vaguely familiar. I glanced at Anders for confirmation, but he had his eyes closed again. Moments later, AJ came back into the room with Harry by her side and Dax on their heels.

“Hey, how’s it going?” Harry went to see Anders, standing awkwardly in front of him with his hands in his pockets and shoulders slightly hunched.

“I’ve been better,” Anders said, trying to sound casual. “You keeping fit?”

Harry nodded. “Running eight k’s a day, and my times are getting better.”

“Sprints?”

AJ sat down next to me again and rolled her eyes. “Sports talk,” she muttered. “That’ll keep them busy for a while.”

I nodded. Anders was the captain of our school First XV, and he took his job seriously. If he couldn’t train and stay fit himself, he’d at least be making sure that his team was.

Pony Jumpers series

Entering the world of episodic storytelling

When I sat down in April and decided to write a novel in four days, I did it simply as a test of my writing ability (and ability to stick to a deadline!).

When I decided to write a sequel to that first novel, from the perspective of one of the other main characters, I started thinking that I could do a whole series this way, plucking out a new character each time and making them the heroine (or hero) of the story.

When I began work on the third book, and started layering in the characters from the first two books, I decided to stick to four main protagonists, who would all be present in each others’ stories, but would have longer arcs of their own.

And when I was halfway through writing the fourth book, I realised that I was inadvertently working towards a dream that I’d had for many years – to write for an episodic drama.

When I was at University, if you’d asked me what my biggest dream was, if I could do anything, what would I do…I would’ve said that I wanted to write for television.

Because that is, in many ways, what Pony Jumpers is doing. It’s episodic storytelling, and the most familiar form of this kind of storytelling is what we see in television drama.

Wikipedia says of episodic storytelling: Multiple episodes are usually grouped together into a series through a unifying story arc. Episodes may not always contain the same characters, but each episode draws from a broader group of characters, or cast, all of whom exist in the same story world.

I suppose that’s why it appealed to me so much – the same story world. That’s a definitive characteristic of what and how I write. It’s not something I’ve even necessarily done on purpose – I didn’t set out saying Every book must intertwine! but it ended up happening that way. Characters I wrote for previous stories kept popping up, wanting to be noticed again. Katy had already showed up briefly in Dare to Dream and Dream On, but she was around in my head a lot earlier than that, as the heroine of another book I planned out but never wrote. (Too much has changed for me to tell that story now, but I can probably resurrect it some day with a different character in the Katy role.)

So then, once I’d committed to my four characters – AJ, Katy, Susannah and Tess – and had written each of their debut books, introducing them and their families and their ponies and their lives to readers, I sat down and started working out what would happen next for each of them. Sometimes it came to me as I wrote, as I realised things about the girls that I hadn’t realised before, as plot threads were woven and began to dangle enticingly. And I worked out what the larger story arcs were going to be for each girl, and how each one would develop, and what kind of A-plots I wanted to give them, and what smaller B-plots, and what over-arching plots, and well before I even started work on Five Stride Line, I knew exactly what I was heading towards.

I’ve held off on announcing this, because I didn’t want to commit to it until I was sure that I could, but I have plots and character story arcs set up for each of the four girls to have five books each from their perspective in the series. So yep, that means that there will be a total of 20 books in the series. (We’re quarter of the way there already!). Although I can’t wholly commit to releasing one book per month – life has a way of taking over – I’m going to try to at least get us to book 8 by the end of this year.

As a result, I think that Five Stride Line, more than any of its predecessors, reflects this. It does, of course, have its own A-plot (AJ questioning whether or not to shoe Squib as she tries to progress through the levels) and B-plot (Harry) and C-plot (financial constraints and the possible need for a new saddle), but it also has several dangling threads that I will pick up later. So if a section of the story felt unfinished, or you read it and thought ‘why was that scene relevant/important/even in there?’ – trust me. There’s a reason. You might not find that reason out until book 13, but find it out you will. Eventually.

Twenty books are a lot of books to write, but I’m confident that I can get it done. I’ve got so much story to tell, and I’m so excited for some of these books. Seriously. Book 8 is going to be great, and I can’t wait to get started on book 11, and as for book 14…

Because yes, I know what happens in all of the remaining books.

Yes, they are going to keep the same order of protagonists, which means Tess will close us out with book 20).

Yes, they all have titles already, and most have cover images picked out too.

And no, I’m not telling you any more detail than that.

For more on episodic storytelling: https://pekoeblaze.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/the-pros-and-cons-of-writing-a-fictioncomic-series/