by Vicky Kaseorg
Joe, an ugly and unloved horse, trusts no one. And no one trusts him. Until Vicky. Joe, teaches the lesson that sometimes beauty is not skin-deep, but heart deep, and that the unloved have much to show us about the true nature of love.
“What a wonderful coming-of-age story! It is a love story packaged in many different layers of heartache, naivete, trust, and faith.”
“Told in a voice that is both nostalgic and age-wizened, this book moves you to your core. You feel the plight of a shy girl and a sway-backed pony as intertwined as a stranded rope, and as triumphant as any love story ever told.”
“Not since I first read The Diary of Anne Frank as a child have I been so moved by a true story. Several scenes reduced me to tears of joy and sorrow.”
CIR: What inspired you to write this particular part of your life’s story as a book?
KASEORG: This is a true story based on a horse I knew and loved when I was 9 years old. I worked on a farm in exchange for one of the farm horses being my own to ride and care for as long as I worked there. To the owner’s dismay, I chose the ugliest, meanest, least ridable horse on the farm. No one loved him, and he loved no one…until me.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
KASEORG: The parts that were painful back then, fifty years ago, as a shy, lonely, awkward little girl, felt just as painful as I relived those moments writing about them. There were some very sad parts too, and I cried buckets of tears even fifty years later!
CIR: What message did you hope to convey by sharing this part of your history?
KASEORG: I hope the reader will come away with the message that all creatures made by God have intrinsic worth and value. Nothing is irredeemable. I also hope to inspire people to never give up, always seek good, and always choose love.
CIR: Given that this is narrative non-fiction, how closely do the characters match their real life namesakes?
KASEORG: The characters are based on people I did know, though they are portrayed through the cloudy lens of looking back fifty years ago on how I perceived the world as a nine-year-old. Thus, I would consider them conglomerates of many people I knew who influenced and shaped the person I became.
CIR: You’ve lived many years since this tale’s days. Are you planning to write another part of your story?
KASEORG: The sequel should be out in the summer of 2015. It begins where Joe left off. The sequel is based on an actual horse, but the situations are mostly fictional. This will be a little strange as the first book is non-fiction, and the sequel/series will be fictional.