A Way Of Life


The publishing company that I am under contract with, Oghma Creative, is working with some of the most talented writers I’ve come across.  Today, I’m featuring a post by Velda Brotherton.  Velda is a wonderful author of fiction!  I think you’ll enjoy her post and her books!  This is a great way to become acquainted with various author’s and their work. You may discover some books for your summer reading list as well!

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Living a life that can be turned into fiction is a good way to write books. For years I didn’t realize that was precisely what I was doing. Up to then I researched and lived in the past. The wild west romanticized. It didn’t dawn on me that my experiences could be turned into another kind of fiction until many years after I retired from my job. What was that? I was a feature reporter and city editor for a rural weekly newspaper in the Arkansas Ozarks. It wasn’t until I decided to try my hand at writing mysteries that I looked back at those nine years at the newspaper and it dawned on me the experiences could be used for a mystery series.

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Thus was born Jessica West, a reporter for a small paper hiding from her failure to succeed in the big time, and sexy Cherokee lawman Dallas Starr, a burnt out narc searching for a peaceful career. Both land in Grace County, Arkansas where all should be crime-free. But that wouldn’t make for good mysteries, so that’s where the fiction begins.

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During all my years on the paper I never covered a crime, and only one murder occurred while I worked there. A State Trooper was shot in his vehicle on the highway near town. The killer was tracked on horseback by deputies and other lawmen till he was cornered in an abandoned shack in the wilderness. The shack caught on fire during the gunfight and he burned to death.

I would never use that in one of my books. So I make up murder and mayhem, in A Twist of Poe mystery series. I write sexy scenes between Dal and Jess and have a lot of fun inserting into my stories characters I’ve met over the years. After all, I have to live up to my brand. Sexy, Dark, and Gritty was conceived by my new publisher, Oghma Creative Media.

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You wouldn’t think that being a reporter for some newspaper in the Ozarks would make for anything terribly exciting. We covered small town city council meetings, school board meetings where the most exciting occurrences were the times one of the members smacked a reporter in the head with her notebook, or the principal showed up drunk.

But guess what? I met and interviewed some fantastic people. America’s first spaceman, Joe Kittinger, who, in 1960 jumped from a balloon at the edge of space and lived to write about it. Later he began flying a stunt plane at airshows. That’s where I met him. He took me up so I could write a good story, and I wrote several stories about him over the years.

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Then there was Apache, Al Houser, who claimed to be the first baby born to Geronimo’s people after they were released from a Florida prison and returned to Oklahoma. The state was then Indian Territory, and today is the home of several tribes including my own ancestors, the Cherokee. Houser was involved in translating and preserving the languages of many tribes before they were lost forever. During World War II he flew a B-24 on night raids over Nazi Germany. Known as The Lone Wolf Raider, this man fought for a country that had imprisoned his people for years. It was an honor to sit down with him. He was a small, soft spoken man, with the strength of the mighty Apache in his soul.

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I walked into a snake house thinking the huge reticulated pythons were in cages only to learn they were lying on shelves, entwined within each other’s embrace. I could hear them breathing, smell the feral wildness of them. It was dark as pitch. The snake man, whom I had come to interview, said, “You can touch them, they like to be touched.” And so I did. Cool, dry, and smooth. Later I, who had an unnatural fear of snakes, sat while one of these exquisite creatures coiled across my lap and into my arms. Looked into his eyes and wondered what he thought of this frail human whom he could crush so easily. Do you want to know what I saw there? I saw the peace of knowing he was all powerful and didn’t have to prove it.

Once I sat in a small enclosure filled with tiger cubs, one in the litter was white. I’ve walked in their compound, taken pictures of these creatures in a preserve where most of the animals were rescued from people who thought they needed an exotic pet until that cute little cub grew into a three- or four-hundred pound tiger. One day when I was focusing the camera, the lens grew dark, and I slowly peered around to see one of the tigers had placed a paw there.

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Funny, isn’t it, that it took years for me to realize that these are experiences that will turn my fiction into something different, something fun and scary and interesting.  Hopefully all at the same time. So I’ve come home to write about what I know, after years of researching a time and place that I can only imagine.  My books include A Twist of Poe mystery series: The Purloined Skull; The Tell-Tale Stone; and coming in 2016 The Pit and the Penance. In October a horror, also set in the Ozarks, A Savage Grace, will be released. In November of last year, my mainstream novel, the book of my heart, Beyond the Moon, came out. I hope to write a sequel next year some time. I still write those western historical romances because I’ll always love tales of the west. Following the release of Wilda’s Outlaw last year, Rowena’s Hellion came out in November and I’m working on Tyra’s Gambler to finish the Victorian Series. See http://www.amazon.com/author/veldabrotherton for my entire publishing history, book at a time.





10 Responses

  1. Harold Michael Harvey Says:

    Melissa, I’ve read your blog daily for almost as long as you have been publishing it. I’ve met many interesting people through your posts in the Permanent Tourist, but I’ve never meet anyone as interesting as Velda Brotherton. Thanks for bringing this fascinating woman and writer to my attention.

  2. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Says:

    This is right up my alley!! I am a hopeless romantic and although I love all types of books Velda Brotherton’s novels are going right at the top of my list. I am going right to Amazon and start ordering. Thank you very much to introducing us to Ms. Brotherton.

  3. Melissa Says:

    I know you will enjoy her writing! Velda is wonderful!

  4. Velda Brotherton Says:

    Thanks so much for the kind comments and thanks to Melissa for posting this. I’ve been gone all morning with family business, and was so pleased to return to find Melissa had published the blog I wrote recently for her. I appreciate those who read and make comments. Hope you enjoy my books.

  5. Sorchia Says:

    What a wonderful bunch of experiences Velda has had!! And I bet she is saving the best ones for her books. As wonderful as the pictures are, they can’t do justice to this beautiful, glorious woman. Thanks for sharing her thoughts and images. I’m looking forward to the next book!

  6. Ethan @ OneGuysGuideToGoodReads Says:

    Mrs. Velda is a treasure! I’ve had the great pleasure to meet her a couple of times and she’s just awesome. These stories don’t surprise me one bit after meeting her! Can’t wait to learn more about her through her writing. I’m actually just about to start Beyond the Moon myself!

  7. Velda Brotherton Says:

    Again, I want to thank those who are commenting with such complimentary words. Makes me feel good all over. Today I watched a rather good sized snake wandering about on the rocks outside my living room window. He coiled and studied and coiled around some more. If he found a way in I guess he may join me tonight while I’m in bed reading. Will let you know.
    And hope everyone who does read my books enjoys them enough to write a brief review. Thanks again.

  8. John Biggs Says:

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life, Velda. But I guess you’ve been doing that all along with your books.

  9. Karen Blondeau Says:

    Years ago a dear friend (Libby) introduced me to Velda’s writing. Hooked ever since. This is a great blog that added a new dimension.

  10. Radine Trees Nehring Says:

    My word, Velda–I “think” I’ve known you well for years, then all kinds of new-type writing–and the information in this blog come up! Well I remember your early western novels, and I loved them. You are, as others are saying, an amazing woman.

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