Stacy Ennis, 30, wasn’t always the adventurous type. “I was the girl who waited for the crosswalk sign to let me know when to cross the street,” she says. “But less than two years after moving abroad, I was dodging in between cars, ‘frogger’ game style to cross the streets in Saigon.” Maybe it was dancing the merengue, being robbed at gun point, or zip-lining past monkeys through a jungle, but whatever it was and because of it, she says, “I came back brave.”
Ennis seems to thrive on what she calls, “intentional discomfort.” This feeling always propels her life to the next level. Her sense of bravery and saying “yes” brings new adventures and opportunities even while she makes her home in Boise.
In Vietnam the level of discomfort was high enough to be the catalyst for her to decide to start her own writing business and come home to Boise. She began with a “modest” goal of writing query letters to 30 publications in 30 days. From there she built a website, stocked up on business cards, and then: “I said ‘yes’ to almost every project that came my way,” she says.
Within six months, Ennis’ business took off. Today, she is the sole earner for her family of four. Breaking traditional roles, her husband, Doug, stays home with the kids, cooks wonderful meals from scratch, and attends events as “Stacy’s husband.” “He does all of it with humility and love. With a master’s in education, Doug has put his own aspirations on hold to support mine. I will always be grateful.”
Ennis’ list of books and publications is long and varied. She has written more than 700 articles and three books. As a ghostwriter for Nobel Prize winner and research scientist, Louis Ignarro, she was his “voice” for four years. When she visited him in Beverly Hills, she was delighted to experience a full demonstration of his train house, a real masterpiece. She says, “This is the man who discovered the signaling molecule, Nitric Oxide, but he also spent years building model trains and settings to scale.”
At age 27, just three months after the birth of her first child, she published her first book under her own name, The Editor’s Eye. She says, “I remember opening the package that held my proof copy and running my fingers over the cover, and marveling at seeing my name in print.”
When asked what books she would take to a deserted island, she says: “The House on Mango Street. It’s all about letting go and moving on, but still dreaming of, and remembering, home. And, of course, All the Light We Cannot See so I could be completely transported and escape into a different world.”
Most memorable airplane trip: “It was when my husband and I moved abroad for the first time. We had teaching jobs in the Dominican Republic. Our family and friends came to the airport see us off on our adventure. We were leaving the known behind and ahead of us was completely unknown. When our airplane touched down, all of the passengers broke out into applause. For me, it was a happy affirmation, as if the whole plane was celebrating our arrival. The truth is that whenever planes land in the Dominica, the passengers always applaud.”