Stormie Conway loves writing about animals! Her stories have been featured in newspapers, many of them Editor’s Choice.
We sat down with Stormie to learn more about her love of animals, along with some of her favorites, in this fun Q&A!
About the book: Stormie’s Joy is a collection of short stories about the animals that have come into my life and blessed me with that special kind of magic found only in the nonhuman inhabitants of our earth. Some of these creatures graced my life for too short a time, and were gone before I had a chance to thank them. Others have become treasured friends and trusted confidantes. All have touched my soul.
Stormie’s Joy cuts through the dripping darkness of a past gone wrong to the forgiving light of redemption. A no-holds-barred honesty trumps finesse in the telling of these stories, particularly those having to do with animal abuse or negligence, as I believe that poetry and eloquence are neither mandates nor substitutes for truth.
Written with joy, humor and sensitivity, these are the stories of the animals—their heroics, their jive, their heart—and my adventures and misadventures with them. Whether accompanying a friend to transport a new puppy home from the breeder or caring for another friend’s beloved family pet that has reached the end of her years, I feel humbled and privileged to have been a part of their lives. And I know for certain that I have come away a better person for having known them.
Describe your book in 15 words or less: A collection of short stories about my adventures/misadventures with animals.
What made you decide to write a book about animals? I wanted to write about something I know, and something that I’m passionate about.
You’ve worked with a lot of animals in your lifetime. Who are three of your favorite and most memorable animals?
Only three individual favorites from a pool of infinite uniqueness and boundless charm?
My horse, Flame, would have to be up there. Not just because he was a horse and probably my spirit animal, but because of the connection that formed between us the instant I first held his lead shank, stroked his face, and looked into his eyes. I worked with him under saddle and, with help from trainers, grew him into a happy, well-mannered—if spirited—horse. In turn, he brought me a sublime sense of peace, joy, and contentment just by being Flame.
Buddy, the Borzoi with his genuine laissez faire attitude, his well-camouflaged-as-goofiness easy grace, and his sweet sense of humor. Given the contagion of his personality, I have to believe that if people cultivated these character traits within themselves, world peace might not seem so unattainable.
“Not everything in life is a good poop. Neutralize the would-be bad stuff by greeting every person, animal, and experience with an open and joyful heart. Even scary thunder yields in the face of optimism.” —Buddy, the Borzoi
Bear, the German Shepherd mix—that dog whose owner had me so nervous before my inaugural assignment with him that I wore heavy elbow-length gloves when I arrived at the house in case he launched an attack on me. Didn’t happen. Bear shadows me everywhere, exhibits gratitude and joy when off-leash in the woods, and thinks he’s a lap dog. He is my canine superhero who protects me from all would-be evildoers: the very real cave crickets, and phantoms he alone can see.
If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why?
I believe in second chances. While my heart breaks for all the abused and neglected animals in the world, I would love to be an animal who, after hard times, is blessed to be adopted into a loving forever home. Most of the dogs with which I’ve worked are rescues, and some had it tougher than others before finding wonderful humans with whom to live. I think of Jada, the Katrina hurricane rescue Staffordshire Terrier, who was thought to have been used in dog fighting. Her gratefulness at being removed from that horrendous environment was almost palpable, and was matched only by her desire to give and receive love. Given my own rocky start in life that I touch upon in a couple of chapters, I feel the same deep gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities with which I’ve been presented to leave my past behind.
What are you most grateful for? The list is long. I’m grateful for the phenomenal pool of clients with which I’ve been blessed. I’m grateful that said clients entrust me with their pets—a varied lot with which I’ve experienced the full spectrum of emotions from the horror of seeing Barney so terribly sick to the sadness of losing friends like Hero and Bounce (one of my many ferrets), to the ecstasy of participating in an animal’s joy such as Duncan’s zeal when chasing bubbles. I’m grateful for the God-given ability to share my experiences through writing.
What’s your biggest pet peeve? It bothers me when people, usually with all good intentions, adopt an animal with little thought as to the commitment involved with an adoption. The story of Dior, a trainable young poodle requiring only attention, discipline, and love, represents a prime example of how a would-be wonderful dog deteriorates into a miserable, neurotic, almost-impossible-to-keep creature. Dior is the tragic victim of a loved but neglected-because-of-time-constraints dog.
Describe your next book, Stormie’s Heart, and what readers can expect to read about: Stormie’s Heart continues the stories of my interactions with animals, some of whom you met in Stormie’s Joy. Duncan continues to delight with his shenanigans, and Warren never fails to charm with his low-key sweetness. But new friends abound, including a quartet of mini horses for which I care on Saturday mornings, and a trio of chickens that taught me the meaning of perseverance—in spades. And of course, an assortment of newly introduced dogs, cats, and ferrets. Most of the critters, as in Stormie’s Joy, have lessons to teach. I am a willing student.
Praise for Stormie’s Joy:
“…an absolute delight. This book touches your heart and warms your soul along with fits of laughter!” — Malinda Morris, Goodreads Reviewer
“Stormie Conway takes you on a wild and crazy adventure… I recommend this book to anyone who loves animals and a fun, eclectic ride.” — Daniel Kuhnley, Goodreads Reviewer
…delightful and sometimes heart wrenching…The stories will draw you in and make you smile and cry…” — Linda Marcus, Goodreads Reviewer
“…beautifully written…a powerful true-life account of survival of the human spirit through an incredible bond with animals. You’ll be quickly caught up in Stormie’s world of comedic mishaps, divine interventions, inner torment, and ultimate freedom that will leave you forever moved…” — Gina Bores, Goodreads Reviewer
Read the First Three Chapters of Stormie’s Joy:
Available Formats & Purchasing Information
Hardcover: 978-1-64397-015-8, $22.95
Softcover: 978-1-948540-52-0, $12.95
Ebook: 978-1-948540-53-7, $7.99
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About the Author:
Stormie Conway is a writer and licensed paralegal. Upon retiring from the corporate world in 2009, she obtained her Veterinary Assistant certificate and launched a successful pet-sitting business. She writes poetry and has submitted several articles to local newspapers, many classified as “Editor’s Choice.” When not writing, she enjoys cooking, horseback riding, and hiking over dirt trails through sleepy woods. She lives in Sussex County, New Jersey.
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