Former champion jockey Frankie Dettori has paid tribute to author Emily Williams for drawing attention to the welfare of retired racehorses in her YA debut Rafferty Lincoln Loves…
Dettori, named the world’s best jockey in 2015, said the novel deserved to be celebrated for drawing attention to an important cause.
‘It’s fantastic,’ he said, ‘to see a contemporary novel for young adults embracing passion and a love for horses as well as advocating for their welfare.’
All proceeds from the book will be donated to The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, which works to promote the welfare of retired racehorses and to ensure they have a rewarding and valuable life after their racing careers have ended.
Williams, now a primary school teacher, started saving for her first horse when she was ten.
She was 21 when she finally bought her horse, who later became the inspiration for Rafferty Lincoln Loves… ‘She’s beautiful,’ said Williams.
Meet the author
My name: Emily Williams. My middle names are Ruth and Megan named after my grandmothers. I dedicated my first novel to Megan.
My family: My family has suddenly expanded over the last few years: I live with my partner James and we have a three-year-old son, one and a half-year-old daughter and a baby on the way.
My parents live abroad in sunny France and I have a smattering of other relatives around the UK.
I was born in…. a hospital on the Isle of Wight where we lived for the first five years of my childhood before we moved to Shropshire. I have very limited memories of the Isle of Wight, but what I do have are good ones.
But now live in…a sunny seaside town in West Sussex. We moved to the south coast when I was a teenager. I hated moving! I left everything behind I loved, friends, horses etc. But I soon adapted and now I love living by the sunny seaside.
One thing I’d change about me… the autoimmune disease I’ve developed. It affects my joints, in particular, my wrists and I’ve had to have several operations.
The disease prevents me doing a lot of what I’d like to do – although it definitely doesn’t stop the writing. With the aid of dictation software, nothing can stop me writing.
But the disease does limit other aspects of my life and this is one thing I’d like to change.
Earliest childhood memory? I was on the Isle of Wight during the great hurricane of 1987, and I remember this vividly despite being so young. A tree fell on our school so we had a day off and the noise that night was incredible. That is my first memory of fear.
Favourite book to read with my children? Our son loves The Tickle Book to the point he dissolves into giggles before it’s even open.
We’ve read it so much I’ve told him it’s Daddy’s favourite so he’ll be the only one to read it now.
A love of books
Our son still produces it to me every day though, so I’ve hidden it.
We read lots of other books too, but my favourites would be books by Julia Donaldson and the ‘That’s not my…,’ series of books for babies/very young children – a great way to encourage reading and love of books.
The last book you read? My own! Rafferty Lincoln Loves… I was doing a final read through before I pressed submit. I hadn’t read it for a couple of months and it was a nice surprise reading through and enjoying it again.
I’m looking forward to reading books from other authors now I have finished my own book.
What keeps you awake at night? Insomnia caused by our third child kicking me all night. I can’t wait until he/she is born…
What’s in your bag right now? Usually billions of random pens, biscuit crumbs and a nappy or two.
One thing in my bag at the moment is a copy of my new novel, Rafferty Lincoln Loves… which I’ve put in there to show some friends. I try not to show it off but can’t help myself.
Go-to companion for a night on the sofa? My border collie dog Tia. She’s a big softy and loves a cuddle. Our spaniel, Parker tries to squeeze up for a cuddle too but he’s annoying and can never settle or, if he does, he snores. They’re up on our sofa every night.
Greatest extravagance? I’m not really one for extravagance, I rather like a bargain.
Probably my biggest extravagance was my horse, which I’d saved since I was ten to buy. I bought her finally when I was twenty-one and she was worth the long wait. She’s beautiful and part of the inspiration behind the novel, Rafferty Lincoln Loves…
My guilty secret? I have kept all the issues of PONY magazine since childhood and they are still in my loft!
About Rafferty Lincoln Loves…
Rafferty Lincoln doesn’t like horses. Not one bit.
But when the popular high school girl of his dreams, Liberty Ashburn, pulls him into a world of lead ropes and horse brushes, who is he to say no?
Except this isn’t any old horse. This is the missing racehorse, Profits Red Ridge. The horse Rafferty and three of his friends are hiding from the world.
And Liberty Ashburn isn’t just any ordinary high school girl. How far will Rafferty go to win her over?
An intense, witty and powerful coming of age story with startling consequences.
Available to buy on Amazon.