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Veterinarian turns author

Published 2:31 pm, Friday, August 23, 2013
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Angela Muoio doesn't consider herself a writer; she's more of a science person.

But that didn't stop the 36-year Darien resident and veterinarian from writing and self-publishing a book just as her life was starting to feel monotonous.

"Is this what life is supposed to be?" Muoio asked herself.

Muoio graduated from St. George's University in 2004, after which she completed her clinical rotations at Indiana State University. She started writing in 2007.

At first, the story is reflective of her life as a girl who grew up in a small coastal Connecticut town, went to veterinary school and later found herself working in a local animal hospital. Muoio works at Valhalla Animal Hospital in Westchester, N.Y.

"A lot of what happened is based on things that happened to me," Muoio said. "I didn't think the story was going to morph into what it did."

"The Game of Life: Beyond The Blue Wave" is a fun book, Muoio said, a "beach read" for those working post-college life. Muoio attended Darien High School and based the setting of the book on the Darien way of life and atmosphere.

"I don't think you need to be going through a midlife crisis or living under the Tuscan sun," Muoio said. "But I do think you need to have lived and worked a bit outside of college."

The timeline of events in the book are real, Muoio said.

It took Muoio four years to complete the book. She would "put it down and pick it back up again," but would continuously take notes. Muolo said some of the book was written while there was down time at the veterinary hospital, other parts while she was on a beach.

In March 2012, it was "really done," Muoio said.

In the end, Muoio wanted the book to be "funny and inspiring," but what she found was that through the book-writing process is that she had, in turn, found a way to inspire herself.

"Part of (the book) obviously stemmed from real feelings that I was having and dreams that I wasn't sure if I was doing or where I was supposed to be at that point in my life and if there was more out there," she said. "Not that I was depressed and couldn't move forward, but when I wrote the book, I kind of realized that life really is that simple and just go forward and don't be so bogged down."

She added that she feels that life is what you make of it.

"I don't feel sorry for people who aren't where they want to be, provided they're in normal circumstances. And I don't feel sorry for myself. If I want something, I go get it."

In short, it's the story of a veterinarian who finds herself bored with where she is in life and subsequently decides to make changes. There's the makings of literary romantic comedy: A sharp-witted woman with the right touch of romance.

For some, the challenges of writing stem from something foreign to the author and not being able to visualize and feel the surroundings and atmosphere, but Miouo found herself struggling to describe the most familiar places. Meanwhile, writing about places she had never been was done with significantly less effort. That, and descriptions in general presented additional challenges.

"How many times can you describe the same guy as `tall, dark and handsome?'" she asked. So she took to a thesaurus to help her along.

"I spent so much time learning how to say things," Muoio said.

Muoio said there is a possibility she could write another book, but she knows that helping animals is where she belongs and that she couldn't imagine doing any other job.

"Animals are so lucky," said Muoio, who has five cats over the age of 14. Often, she said, a whole family will go to the vet with the family pet, even if the animal is only receiving a routine check-up or shots. On her days off, Muoio spends time working on what she wants, which is to open her own local practice.

"The Game of Life: Beyond The Blue Wave" is available through the Kindle store and in paperback.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-972-4407; www.twitter.com/Meg_DarienNews