Kristen Britain grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, where she started her first novel – an undersea fantasy featuring herself and her friends – at the age of nine. She published her first book, a cartoon collection called, Horses and Horsepeople, at the age of thirteen. In 1987 she completed a degree in film production, with a minor in writing, at Ithaca College. After graduation, travel beckoned and she began a career as a ranger with the National Park Service, enabling her to work in a variety of natural and historical settings, from 300 feet below the surface of the Earth to 13,000 feet above sea level on the Continental Divide; and from the textile mills of the American Industrial Revolution to the homes of Americans who changed the course of history. Her first published epic fantasy novel, Green Rider, the story of a runaway school girl who finds herself in deep peril when she agrees to bear a message for a dying Green Rider (king’s messenger), was released in 1998.
She lives in the woods of Maine with two cats, and a West Highland White Terrier (who cosplays as a Hillander Terrier).
First Pony Ride? From a young age Kristen was fanatical about equines. Frontier Town, Adirondacks, circa 1970.
Kristen riding Tommy Tiddler, 1979. Tommy was a former show jumper who spent his elder years as a schoolie (lesson horse). He never gave up jumping big, and perhaps his name should have been changed to Tommy Rocket. Much beloved by the students who rode him. Even those who landed on his neck.
Kristen with friend, Sally, the Fjord draft pony. Sally lived and worked on an organic farm in Maine where she helped with haying and timber harvesting. Kristen learned about harnessing and driving from the Fjord ponies on the farm, an experience that informs her writing. Sadly, Sally, and numerous other farm animals perished when their historic barn burned down in May 2012. The farm has since risen from the ashes, but Sally and her fellow hoofed, feathered, and woolly barnmates are still sorely missed.
Ranger Kristen, 1998.
Kristen worked at six different national park areas throughout her career, including, Clara Barton National Historic Site, Lowell National Historical Park, Acadia National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Women’s Rights National Historical Park.