Del Mar author encourages youth to follow their dreams

PHOTO COURTESY: Jayne Haines wrote the book “Cry for the Moon.”

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Del Mar author Jayne Haines recently released her first book, “Cry for the Moon,” targeting 8- to 12-year-old readers. The book is about a young girl chasing her dream of competing in the equestrian arena.

“I think the message is that no dream is too far away to reach,” said Haines. “I know that sounds cliché, but I really think young girls should always believe in their dreams because miracles can happen in the most unlikely ways.

Haines has already sold a couple hundred books through and recently held a book-signing event in Los Angeles.

While thrilled to see her book in print, published by CreateSpace, Haines also sees it as a vehicle to share her passion with children.

“I’m really excited about going to schools and talking to them about writing,” said Haines. “I think that kids can really use writing as an outlet.”

“Cry for the Moon” tells the story of eighth grader Portia and her dream of coming to Del Mar to compete in a vaulting competition. The sport of equestrian vaulting is like trick riding — the horse is attached to a halter and is led around in a big circle. The vaulter mounts the horse and performs dance and gymnastics-style tricks atop of it.

Like the character Portia, Haines became involved in the sport as a teenager in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Portia lives in fictional Sundale, Ariz.

Haines calls the book a “horse story with a kick” because it also includes typical teenage drama like having a crush on the cutest boy in school and being hassled by mean girls, and also touches on family issues as Portia’s father deals with depression.

Haines originally came to this area to attend San Diego State University in 1977, but eventually settled in Del Mar in 1993 with her husband and two children, who attended Del Mar Heights, Earl Warren and Cathedral Catholic High School.

An avid trail rider, she rides her horse, Fashion, through Carmel Valley’s “beautiful back country” three to four times a week with her riding partner Mika Roberts.

As she worked as an advertising copywriter, one of her clients was Pardee Homes and she used her riding experience to sell prospective home buyers on the beautiful surroundings.

Haines also wrote feature articles for Young Rider magazine. As she traveled around to equestrian events, she thought more and more about her youth as a vaulter and knew one day she’d like to write a piece of fiction about the sport from a teenage perspective.

She was encouraged to take on the task after entering and winning several chapter book and poetry contests.

“I thought, well, ‘Maybe I can do this,’” Haines said.

Haines received a lot of support for her book from her writing group. She and fellow writers Beth Brust, Stacey Goldblatt and John H. Ritter would meet weekly in Del Mar and Solana Beach to discuss and review each other’s work.

“I would say definitely anyone interested in writing a book should find a group of writers, other than family, because they will be brutally honest,” Haines said.

After spending over a year working on the book it was very satisfying to see the final product printed and bound with cover photography and art by her nieces Julia and Michelle Perkins.

Haines most enjoys writing for kids and is already a third of the way through her second book, another horse story named “Whistler,” which is set in Carmel Valley. She hopes to publish it in the spring.

While she loves writing children’s books, she would also like to write a book for adults too—she has an idea for one about empty nesting, based on her own experiences as a mother.

To learn more about the book, visit

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