WAR HORSE author Michael Morpurgo said he has to pinch himself when he thinks of the success of the famous story, which has now been made into a blockbuster film and a stage play.
Seen by more than 2.4 million people worldwide since its premiere at the National Theatre in 2007, the stage adaptation is currently playing to packed houses at the newly-refurbished Theatre Royal Plymouth.
"The National Theatre couldn't conceive the success it's gone on to have and nor could I," said Michael, while he took a break from writing his latest book in the Isles of Scilly
"I thought they are making a puppet show of my story, but my gosh they just proved me so wrong.
"Like many writers, I have had my stories dramatised or made into films, but really, just occasionally something happens on stage or film which is breathtaking and you can't believe how good it is."
War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight Britain in World War One.
Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before ending up in no man's land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a mission to find his horse and bring him home.
It's a tale of courage, loyalty and friendship and War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.
"Every time I see War Horse on stage or the concert of it, it seems to draw in all generations," said former teacher Michael.
"The puppetry is something like I've never seen before.
"It takes your breath away and the music and design is stunning.
"The power of the story told on stage will have you crying whether you like it or not.
"It's the most wonderful story, which engages with youngsters who just want the horse to survive and their heart is with Joey.
"Their parents in the audience understand the story of war more, whereas grandparents who lived during the wars also connect as they've probably been alive when war broke out.
"The story links the generations and it's the most wonderful thing."
Recently, 'Joey' a life-size puppet from the play, was cheered on by youngsters when he galloped through Iddesleigh in Devon, Michael's home.
"We had the local band play and we had bunting out and I talked to the youngsters from the local primary school. It was a great day," said Michael.
"I told the children about the World War One and they simply couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the horse."
Michael, a former Children's Laureate, has written more than 100 books and was in the process of writing his latest when the Herald Express caught up with him.
"Every writer is very different when it comes to writing styles," he said.
"My process has to start with something that is true. I'm not the kind of writer, sadly, who can create worlds from nothing.
"I need there to be a story which I've heard about and I then elaborate on.
"With War Horse I met up with this old man in the village who was 17 when he went off to the war.
"We sat in the pub by the fire and he told me about his experiences and time in the trenches. I was so upset by it.
"I also spoke to some other older residents and was told stories of horses in the war.
"Most importantly one man told me about the trust which built up between man and horse. To me the story had to be told.
"With War Horse I took what's historically true and told the story based on that.
"I do that with just about every story I've ever written."
The fascinating story has also enjoyed massive success on the big screen.
The film was directed by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.
There was a buzz in the air in Devon when Dartmoor was used as a location.
Many of the actors and Spielberg came to the county for the shoot.
"Spielberg wanted to film on Dartmoor, I wanted to film in Iddesleigh," said Micheal.
"He chose Dartmoor as he wanted it to be more dramatic,
"We went to the shoots and met the likes of actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
"It was a very interesting process seeing it being transformed into a film.
"Spielberg sent me the scripts and I'd comment and sometimes he'd pay attention and other times he didn't.
"In both the National Theatre version and the film I was given a little part. I can say I've been on stage on Broadway," he said with enthusiasm.
When talking to him you can tell he's chuffed and proud to be involved at every level.
"In the film I dressed in a costume and hid myself in a crowd scene," said Michael.
"With that Spielberg said to me my wife could get involved too. It was wonderful to be part of it all."
Not surprisingly the stage run of War Horse in Plymouth is sold out.
But fans can still get a taste of the production by seeing War Horse: Remembered at Plymouth's Theatre Royal at 7pm Sunday, October 13.
It will include readings by Michael who is joined by acclaimed musicians John Tams and Barry Coope, who accompany him with the rousing yet haunting songs specially composed by John Tams for the National Theatre's award-winning production.
"Maybe if people have not got a ticket for War Horse they'd like to come to the concert," he said.
"I'll do my best at story telling and perform it with as much pizzazz as possible."