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Interview with Camille Matthews

A bit about the author
Camille Matthews, MSW, LCSW is a clinical social worker and writer who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, complex PTSD and attachment disorders. In 2002, she received her certification in the new field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and established the Pathfinder Program in Farmington, NM where she treated adolescents, children and women victims of domestic violence using EAP.

She teamed with illustrator, Michelle Black to create the Quincy the Horse Books for children ages 5-10. Matthews was born and raised in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky where her father was a law school professor. She was an only child and her favorite thing to do was visit her grandparents and cousins. She is a lifelong equestrian, avid reader and student of politics who blogs and is an op ed contributor.  She relocated to the Reading, PA area from Northwestern New Mexico in 2010.

What age range is your book for?
Children ages 5-9 and horse lovers of any age.

Can you share a memory of yours or a story of you from when you were within the age range of your target readers?
My grandfather had a farm and I often visited him on the weekends. My favorite horse was a gray mare named Nancy. He would saddle her up so that I could ride her around the pasture. I would pretend that I was Robert E. Lee and she was Traveller.

How has life changed for children today than when you were that age?
Children are much more regimented and protected. They have many planned activities. I loved playing outside from dawn to dusk and did many things that might now be considered dangerous like riding my bike without a helmet, climbing trees, shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July. I am not sure we let children have enough imaginative and unstructured play. 

How is life still the same?
That is a hard question because it has changed a lot. I would say that even in the face of the stresses we face in life today that family is still first and that parents try very hard to be a home base for their children.

What was your favorite toy or activity when you were that age?
I l loved riding my bike and reading.

What inspired the Quincy the Horse books and how did you decide on this age range for your books?
Quincy is a real horse and he had some adventures early in his life on which the stories are based. So I would say that Quincy’s real life experiences inspired me. I had the idea for the Quincy the Horse Books and thought about the stories quite a bit, but I never seemed to take the step of writing them down. Then, during a period where I had to put my life on hold to care for my elderly mother, I was able to take that next step. Part of it was getting in touch with my own childhood again. I know Quincy the Horse has some of the issues I had as a child and I felt a need to express them.

Relationships are an important theme of the Quincy the Horse Books. I wanted the books to be picture books and be appropriate for children who could grasp this aspect so that made them a good fit for the 5-9 age range.

Finally, I have my own children. Over the years, we’ve attended a lot of birthday parties. I love the idea of building a theme gift around a book. If you were to give a gift basket to a child based on your book, what else would be in the basket besides (your book’s title)?
I would envision a basket that contained Quincy Moves to the Desert along with a watercolor set and pad for doing artwork because the artwork in the book is so striking. I would also add a set of horse stickers showing different breeds of horses, some candy corn to feed and a shiny red apple!


You can find out more about Camille Matthews’ World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/CamilleMatthews.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Matthews and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.


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