Leeds author who wrote book on tackling postnatal depression with horses becomes Amazon bestseller

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A woman from Leeds who documented her experiences tackling postnatal depression with the help of horses in a book can now call herself an Amazon bestselling author.

Grace Olson, 48, released ‘The Yard’ in June this year and the book has already charted at number one on Amazon several times.

She was rejected by literary agents on numerous occasions but proceeded regardless and has been left thrilled by the success of the book.

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"It's been amazing, absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “I'm getting messages every day on Facebook, from people telling me how much they've loved it, and how much it's inspiring them to improve their own lives.

Grace is already planning to release a second book. Image: Pooch And Ponies PhotographyGrace is already planning to release a second book. Image: Pooch And Ponies Photography
Grace is already planning to release a second book. Image: Pooch And Ponies Photography

"It's just pulling on the heartstrings of so many people.

"When I got five stars, and it said number one bestseller, I just thought ‘wow, I can't believe it’, because that was really in the early days as well.

"It's still the early days, it's only been six weeks and I'm on my third print run.”

Grace, who is from Moortown, began struggling with postnatal depression after she gave birth to her first child.

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An emergency caesarean section was performed and during the stitching process, the anaesthetic wore off.

"It was horrific," Grace explained. "I ended up with postnatal depression. I was so hurt that I just realised I needed something."

She found solace in equine-assisted therapy, which involves horses in the therapeutic process.

"It completely transformed me and it was magical,” Grace said. “It was the most beautiful setting that you could imagine, surrounded by llamas and peacocks and the random farm animals, doing stuff I never thought was possible with horses.”

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Her experiences were put down on paper and the result was ‘The Yard’.

Grace used the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown as an opportunity to flex her creative muscles and write a short story on Facebook.

It was the reception to that and the comedic series that followed which helped to inspire the development of ‘The Yard’.

"It was lockdown and I couldn't work and I've always loved writing, I absolutely love it beyond description," Grace explained. "So, I wrote a short story and I posted it on Facebook.

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"Within minutes, I had hundreds and hundreds of likes, and loads of requests to write more. Then, I set up my own page, and wrote one weekly episode of my experiences with horses, but I did it in a comedic way.”

Over a thousand copies of her book have been sold and the success has helped to ease worries Grace had ahead of the release date.

"I was so full of doubts,” she said. “My brain kept telling me that only five people would buy this book.

"That was repeated, totally full of negativity. Honestly, I just wanted to get some scissors and pick my brain out.”

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The negativity has been cleared to such an extent that a second book is already in the pipeline.

One of the aspects of the book Grace is most proud of is the diversity, which reflects the diverse nature of the community she is part of.

“My book includes people from the LGBT+ community, many different ethnicities, and an incredible disabled rider,” she said. “This is simply because they are all the people who were involved in my horsey life and I feel it’s important to show that.”

Grace’s writing, however, is not the only aspect of her life drawing attention.

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Her business, Heaven Stone Healing, offers therapeutic experiences and has recently recruited a new staff member – a rescue lamb named Biscuit.

Having recently made an appearance on BBC Radio Leeds discussing Bambi, Grace will be featured on BBC Look North on Thursday.

For those who may not have yet picked up a copy, Grace has a simple message.

She said: “I would say if you want to laugh out loud and feel really inspired, you won't read anything better.”

‘The Yard’ is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.