Velda Brotherton, originally from Winslow, Arkansas, has been writing fiction and nonfiction for 20 years. She studied her craft through attending workshops and being mentored by other writers. Velda is a little like my father, in that the formal education for both ended at high school graduation-in a day when that was solid schooling. Both writers have pursued a lifelong learning program and an education of the heart.
Velda married at 17 and stuck with her man. She is doing what she absolutely wants to do in life. She rates her success by rating the happiness that success brings to her and her family's lives.
Velda's idea of happiness: "Listening to my children, grands children and the baby interact while burgers cook on the grill and a breeze cools the summer evening. sleep to the stillness of a country evening. And someone letting me know that they enjoyed something I wrote and that they feel the better for it. "
Velda's most recent book is "Fly with the Mourning Dove," set in 1920, in which six-year-old Edna companies her parents to New Mexico to homestead 640 acres.
Janet: Velda, what is your mission?
Velda: To give enjoyment and inspiration to my readers and to mentor young hopeful writers.
Janet: What are your hopes and dreams?
Velda: Long range, I'd like to write a best seller that sells to a film maker. My short range goal is to finish the book I'm working on and promote "Fly with the Mourning Dove," the one that was just published, and have them sell well.
Having just become a great-grandmother, I'd like to be able to give my great-grandson enough wisdom to help him grow into a fine young man.
Janet: How will you do all that?
Velda: By continuing to study my craft, learn more and more all the time about writing, teaching and promoting. And spend as much time as I can with my great-grandson.
Janet: And in 5 years? 10 years?
Velda: I hope to continue to write until they pry my cold fingers off the keyboard. Although it's a wonderful thing to do, I do not want to be sitting sitting in a rock chair knitting booties anytime soon.
Janet: Your writing is often lyrical. Does beauty inspire you?
Velda: Yes. A sunrise, the moon casting dancing shadows across the past below our deck, the song of the creek, the fragrance of honeysuckle and lilacs on a warm spring evening … all these things inspire me.
Janet: The world is in a sorry pickle and I know you pray that these wounds can be healed and a right path trod. What are some of the things you've done to nudge things along?
Velda: I've volunteered for many community programs for elders, crafts, and literacy along the way. Now I trust that some of my inspirational writing helps someone in need of hope and faith.
Janet: How would a good friend describe you?
Velda: "She laughs too loud, but her smile is contagious, and she thinks she knows more than she does."
Janet: Are religious or spiritual beliefs a vital part of your life?
Velda: Most certainly. I'm not necessarily a fan of organized religion, but I have a strong faith in powers beyond mine. I firmly believe that we have a spirit within us that guides us through the prickly maze of life.
Janet: Is there anything else that you would like readers to know about you?
Velda: When I was young I was spoiled. I had my children too young and was not as good a mother as I've been a grandmother. My family has been patient with me as I learn to set a better example in my older years.
I'd rather walk barefoot in green grass than shop at the mall. I'd rather swim in a creek than sit in a hot tub.
My idea of an ideal weekend is sitting in the sun, swimming a while, writing and reading, grilling fresh caught trout and watching a movie.
I'm an avid movie fan, and often say that they invented the DVD for me because I do not have to go to town to see my favorites.
And I'm a good writer trying my best to get better. That's me in a nutshell.