born 13 July, 1933, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, is a Scottish writer, best known for her series of children's books about Jinny Manders and her wild, traumatised Arabian horse Shantih, set in the Scottish Highlands. The 12 books in the Jinny series were published between 1976 and 1988 by Armada. They are currently out of print.
The Jinny series books often contain this brief biographical information:
"Patricia Leitch started riding when a friend persuaded her to go on a pony trekking holiday - and by the following summer she had her own Highland pony, Kirsty. She wrote her first book shortly after this and writing is now her full-time occupation, but she has also done all sorts of different jobs, including being a riding-school instructor, groom, teacher and librarian. She lives in Renfrewshire, Scotland, with a bearded collie called Meg."
Patricia Leitch is a vegan. Animal welfare and vegetarianism are strong themes in her books. Celtic, Arabic and Buddhist mythology and philosophy are also frequently referred to.
The Jinny series marks a significant departure from the traditional 'tweedy' horse and pony stories aimed at middle-class children. Jinny is a scruffy, willful, tom-boyish girl who doesn't have any social or romantic aspirations. Serious social justice issues are raised throughout the series, forcing Jinny to confront her own prejudices and character faults.
Underlying the series is a sense of predestination deriving from Celtic mythology. Jinny is portrayed as a gifted or chosen child with special and dangerous tasks to perform, guided by mysterious and sometimes frightening characters such as the Red Horse (agent of the Celtic Horse Goddess Epona) and the Walker. In this way it resembles the Dark Is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper.