Horses have feelings too

Local thoroughbred writer hopes to help children with new series

“Claude, the Clumsy Clydesdale” is the first in a new series by local writer Marion Altieri.

“Claude, the Clumsy Clydesdale” is the first in a new series by local writer Marion Altieri.

— The story of Claude is just volume one in a series of books Altieri has signed on to write with Caballo Press of Ann Arbor. The Alpha Mare Series — a nickname of Altieri’s —will feature 10 books in all. The next one, “Alia the Antsy Arabian,” will be released in March.

“But, who knows. Maybe if I become the J.K. Rowling of horse books it will turn into 72 books,” she joked.

Altieri’s character, Alia, is named after her friend, Her Royal Highness Princess Alia Bint Al Hussein of Jordan. The princess in extremely involved in the preservation of the Arabian horses in the Middle East, and Altieri said it was an honor to name one of her characters after such an influential leader in the Arabian horse industry.

In the second book, Alia has a lot of energy. Her critter friends soon take notice and wonder “if she has that thing humans get where she can’t stand still.”

“I never mention A.D.D. [Attention Deficit Disorder] in the book,” said Altieri. “I wrote it because I’m sick to death of hearing every child that is creative or active be pseudo-diagnosed by a neighbor as having A.D.D.”

Alia soon finds out all of her pent up energy was meant to be useful and she was born to be a race horse.

“I want to teach children about finding their vocation in life,” she said. “You have to try to find out what your calling is and not listen what other people say. What your heart tells you is probably correct.”

The third book in the series will be released in the spring to coincide with the beginning of racing season. Titled “Thea, the Thankful Thoroughbred,” the book is meant to be released a year before the Saratoga Race Track’s 150th anniversary, to help educate children about the sport. Altieri said she hopes it will get children to bug their parents into bringing them to the track.

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