John Allen Royce - author

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John Allen Royce is an American author and horseman. The author’s debut title, Eclipsed by Shadow, won national honors including the 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Best Young Adult Fiction.

Other writing honors include a Gold Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy, and inclusion in the noted 2010 Best New Writing anthology. Mr. Royce’s second title, The Golden Spark, won the 2012 Written Arts Award for best Science Fiction/Fantasy. Into the Dark, the concluding volume, was published in 2012 and named a featured selection by MBR Children’s Bookwatch and a Summer Highlighted Title by Independent Publisher.

Born in California and raised in Texas, Mr. Royce has traveled ‘from sea to shining sea.’ The author’s interest in history and more than 20 years of experience riding and training horses combined to spark the award-winning trilogy, The Legend of the Great Horse.

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Inspiration came in Cambridge, MA, where a wave of gentrification in the late 1990’s was displacing the used bookstores around Harvard Square. Century-old professors’ libraries sat quietly in doomed stacks, but within their quiet pages thundered an amazing array of horses.

The history of the horse tells the story of civilization, and has inspired artists since prehistoric times. The colorful equines galloping through those stacks of books sparked the idea of an adventure through history—on horseback.

The ‘creative non-fiction’ that forms the background of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy started from those pages of history. My goal in writing was to offer horse-lovers an enjoyable adventure ... and to broaden public interest and knowledge of horses and our common legacy of horsemanship.


Mr. Royce studied English at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, before graduating from the University of Texas/Austin (BBA, Accounting).

Coastal Oil & Gas in Houston was Mr. Royce’s first accounting position. After passing the CPA exam in 1994, Mr. Royce joined the Atlanta branch of Peoplesoft to implement accounting systems for US Fortune 100 organizations. Subsequently Mr. Royce specialized in client liaison work in both a general ledger and tax accountant capacity.


My equestrian experiences began in Houston, where I began riding Western as a child. My family attended the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and I fell in love with eventing (Combined Training in those days), which led to competing in Texas and on the West coast as a junior.

I was active in collegiate riding, and formed the first-ever Equestrian Club at the University of Texas to provide affordable instruction to students. In 1988, I organized a national Intercollegiate Show Jumping Championships in Austin, TX, at which over 1500 spectators attended. In the early 1990’s I managed my own facility, Kendalwood, a hunter/jumper stables in Houston, before moving into a career in corporate accounting.

My work with horses has convinced me of their value to people in the modern age, and the importance of their humane preservation to our future.