Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Wednesday Guest- Velda Brotherton
Velda Brotherton is a native Arkansan who began writing after returning to her home state in the early 1970s. Her published work includes six western historical romance novels and six regional nonfiction books. She is the co-chair of a local critique group that has been active in helping writers for 26 years. Her column Wandering the Ozarks, has been in print for 20 years in two weekly newspapers. She is a member of Ozarks Writer's League, Women Writing the West, Oklahoma Writer's Federation, Inc. and Authors Guild.
What is the Willa Award and which of your books won the award?
The WILLA Literary awards are given annually by Women Writing the West. They are given in honor of Willa Cather, who wrote award winning books about women living in the Southwest. There are several categories and judges are librarians and professional women. Three books are chosen for each category, one is the winner, the other two are finalists. Information about the WILLA can be found at http://www.womenwritingthewest.org
My book, FLY WITH THE MOURNING DOVE, was a finalist in the creative nonfiction category. It is the biography of Edna Smith Hiller, who, at the age of six, accompanied her parents to a homestead in New Mexico near Taos. These homesteads were given to veterans of World War I. Her father had developed TB and was told he needed to move to the mountains. The story follows Edna's life until she marries. It is written as a novel, which is what creative nonfiction is all about. The book is available to order on Amazon and will soon be available as an Ebook.
What is your current release about?
I have two current books. They were released within a month of each other. Both are regional nonfiction. The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks is a book about the people who lived the history of settling the Ozarks of Arkansas. It contains 137 photographs and many stories of the people and the settlements which are no longer here. They are the lost communities that died out for several reasons. The Boston Mountains are known by that name because in those days from 1828 a slang word for a hard way to go was"it's the bostons," and because of the rugged wilderness of these particular mountains, they earned that name. The book is available at http://www.oldampub.com
The second book, Arkansas Meals and Memories: Lift Your Eyes to the Mountains is a book of authentic Ozark recipes from my mother's collection of 80 years and favorites of other good cooks here. It contains 150 recipes plus many stories of growing up here during the Great Depression. There's also a lot of memorabilia and history pertaining to cooking. It is available at http://www.goldmindspub.com
What are you working on now?
I have several books in process right now. Recently, my western historical romance, Stone Heart's Woman sold to Wild Rose Press. I don't have a release date as yet, but the contract is in the mail. It will be an Ebook, which I am very pleased about. For several years I've wanted to break into the Ebook market and this will be my first. I also have a paranormal mystery with an Ebook publisher, but it's in the early on stages of being considered. One of my two women's fiction novels is being considered by an agent. As you can see, I stay busy writing and marketing.
Most of my time during the past summer was taken up with promoting my two current books "in the field." That involved appearances at libraries, historical societies and other organizations where I talked about the process of writing the books. During that time I was presented with a Distinguished Citizen Award by the Washington County Historical Society.
Blurb: The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks chronicles the lives of settlers in Franklin, Madison, Crawford and Washington Counties in the Boston Mountains of the Arkansas Ozarks. Combining oral and recorded history, and 137 photographs the author
guides readers to the lost communities, and reveals how people lived, worked, worshiped and played during the 1800s.
Excerpt: Imagine arriving in this rugged mountain wilderness by wagon train, on foot or horseback, to find no voices of man, woman or
child. Only the mournful calls of whippoorwill and solemn owls, the chatter of the crow and playful squirrel, the scree of soaring red hawks whose flight darts shadows across the land. Alone with black bears, cougars and wolves; asleep at night in the company of the nocturnal beasts of the forest and sky; the bats, the ‘possum and the odorous skunk.
You can find out more about Velda at her website: www.veldabrotherton.com