Monday, June 10, 2013

Beyond Mischief: The Stolen Dog: Book Review and Author Interview


Imagine leaving your beloved dog in your back yard or deck to run inside for a quick minute, then returning to find him gone. As you begin searching frantically, a neighbor delivers the devastating news that she saw someone abduct your dog.

This nightmare scenario happened to Tricia O'Malley and her husband, Josh. Their Boston Terrier, Briggs, was stolen in broad daylight. The Stolen Dog is the true story of the O'Malley's ordeal.

The Stolen Dog is an absorbing, suspenseful read. During the search, Tricia takes us into the urban underbelly of her home city, Milwaukee. She shares the raw emotions of terror and loss while maintaining her resolve to find her dog, no matter the cost. I simply could not stop thinking about The Stolen Dog when I finished reading.

Tricia and Josh had to make themselves vulnerable if they were ever to locate Briggs. They had to publicize their phone number and address, leading to some of the most disturbing aspects of the entire book. Malicious, brutal people contacted them. The depths to which thugs sunk to exploit their predicament will probably shock all of us lucky enough to never have had a similar experience.

However - in the midst of their closeup of the worst of human nature, 'angels' and friends stepped forth to offer help and encouragement to Tricia and Josh. Ultimately The Stolen Dog becomes a tale of the best of a community coming together for good. There is redemption in the rescue of another abused dog, Blue. Thanks to Tricia's superb writing we are carried along on the journey to restored faith in people. Briggs comes home unexpectedly and almost miraculously.
Photo Credit: thestolendog.com

I highly recommend this remarkable, uplifting true story. 

Visit Tricia O'Malley's website, thestolendog.com. Currently you can enter there for a giveaway of The Stolen Dog. The book is available on Amazon, Itunes, Nook, and Kobo. A portion of all proceeds will benefit animal shelters and rescues directly. As a bonus, you can see photos of Briggs and Blue by visiting thestolendog.com.

Full Disclosure: I was given a free copy of The Stolen Dog and asked to consider writing a review. I am not compensated in any other way. My review is my unbiased opinion of the book. 

Author Interview: Tricia O'Malley
I asked Tricia O'Malley a few questions which she graciously took the time to answer. Thank you, Tricia! Her replies are below:


Amy: When did you realize that you wanted to tell the story of the search for Briggs as a book? 

Tricia: Immediately after he was returned, we were inundated with people who wanted to learn about our story. I was surprised that this story had resonated with the amount of people that it had. For weeks after, when we would walk the dogs, people would pull their cars over and jump out and introduce themselves to us. It got to the point where I would make sure that I didn't have my old sweats on when I took them for a walk. My real tipping point was when I was at my friend Kristine's rehearsal dinner. Several of her family and friends approached me to ask me about the story and I started telling it. Soon others had drawn near and I had this small crowd around me, silently listening to me tell the story. At that point I really realized that I needed to do something with the story.

The other thing that pushed me into writing the story was when people started reaching out to me regarding their own stolen dog cases and I realized that this is happening across the nation. The book allows me to educate and to have a platform where I can provide resources on the website.

Amy: Why did you decide to self-publish The Stolen Dog?

Tricia: Initially I queried a few agents but truly, I had no idea what I was doing. I had some responses, but the story hadn't even been written yet and I think that I didn't package my proposal well. I decided to sit down and research what was going on with the publishing industry. I took a month and simply researched. After reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur and reading blogs from Joe Konrath to Amanda Hocking, as well as interacting with the authors on the Kindle boards, it made sense to self-publish.

While traditional publishing offers a level of distribution that I can't compete with, I also didn't want to wait two years to see the book published. In my mind, it needed to be out around the one-year anniversary of Briggs being stolen.

What bothered me even more, however, were the reports that I would have to do my own marketing even if a traditional publishing house signed me. It seems to me that if I am going to do my own marketing, I might as well get paid for it.

And ultimately, because I am planning to put a portion of proceeds to animal rescues, if I can keep more royalties ­– I'll have far more to give.

Amy: Animal communicators and psychics offered insights during your search. Do you have any advice for other people whose dogs become lost or are stolen if they are offered these services?

Tricia: My advice would be to take it in stride. I'm a skeptic. I will listen first and decide if I believe on a case-by-case basis. Do I believe in psychic abilities? Absolutely. Everyone has them. Some people just have stronger capabilities than others. I think if someone's dog is lost and they want to use a reputable animal psychic who specializes in finding lost animals, it doesn't hurt to give it a try. The psychic we paid for – we'll never know if he was right or not. But it gave us hope and kept us going and ultimately, that was worth paying for.

Amy:  Much of your story involves human relationships.  You describe people at their very worst and at their very best during your ordeal. Have you considered or been approached about turning The Stolen Dog into a screenplay for a motion picture?

Tricia: Haha, yes! We've often joked that this would be a perfect Lifetime movie. The fact of the matter is that this is a true story. This isn't a "based on a true story." Everything in here is true. So, I certainly could see a movie coming out of it. I have no idea where to begin with shopping that around. For now, my goal is to work towards The Ellen Show.


Amy: You have described the writing process as "tremendously healing". Were there times when you had to put the book away to deal with the emotions produced during the writing?

Tricia: Absolutely. There are times now where I read passages and become emotional. I think when you are in the middle of a tragedy and you are so overwhelmed and things are coming at you left and right – you do not process your emotions. For me it was emotional lock-down. Don't cry. Just move forward. What can I do next? Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving. But sitting down and writing it out and going back to that time allowed those emotions to come out. There were definitely some tears shed as I wrote this. 

26 comments:

  1. Wow! It sounds like quite a thrill ride! I've never heard of this book, but I will look for it!

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    1. Be sure to enter for the giveaway at Tricia's website :)

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  2. Sounds like a great read. We will go check it out. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. If you do, let me know what you think after you read it.

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  3. Thanks for the recommendation - always looking for good books about dogs!

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    1. You are welcome SlimDoggy! I am too!

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  4. What a terrifying story thank goodness they got Briggs back
    Urban hounds

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    1. Yes. I don't think I could have finished reading the book, much less recommended it, if I hadn't known it would end happily.

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  5. When my Lab Murphy was just a pup she was stolen from my front yard...it took almost a month of heartbreaking effort but I eventually we were reuinited...The person who took her just gave her away to a friend with a young child...I felt bad taking Murphy away from the young boy, but at least his mother had enough of a conscience to return her to me after seeing one of my ads

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  6. Wow. I can't imagine how people can be so cruel. I'm so glad you were reunited with Murphy.

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  7. Goodness, how terrifying. I'm glad I got their beloved pup back!

    I know how therapeutic it can be to write about a stressful situation - I did the same with my pup's cancer journey. (Now to just finalize it and get it out there!) Thanks for the great review. I'll add this to me To-Read list!

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  8. We've been through losing a dog to cancer. Kudos for you being able to write about it. You may want to check out the resources Tricia mentions in the interview.

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  9. Oh my - the story sounds absolutely riveting and so awful for a person to actually go through. I've had many of my dogs die (because I've had so many) but I've never "lost" one or had him/her stolen. That sounds truly horrific. Thanks for the review.

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    1. I agree - as awful as it is when our dogs die, we at least know they are loved and we know what happened to them.

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  10. Omigoodness. This story sounds riveting. Thank you for sharing.
    www.dogtreatweb.com

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    1. You're welcome! Be sure to enter the giveaway for your free copy from Goodreads at thestolendog.com.

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  11. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review. :)

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for visiting!

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  12. That must have been horrendous for the family, I'm so happy there eventually was a happy ending,

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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  13. Thank you for sharing, I will have to add this to my book list!

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    1. Thanks, that's great, and don't forget to enter the giveaway on the author's website.

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  14. Wow, this sounds like a great book, and possibly a little intense! It may be a "can't put it down" type book. I am adding it to my reading list, and will enter the giveaway too! Thanks for the additional interview with the author....I am especially interested in the self publishing aspect.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog too!
    Jan, Wag 'N Woof Pets

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview with Tricia O'Malley. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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  15. PAWsome review. It is terrifying ... Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. My pleasure, always fun to recommend a good book!

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