Velda Brotherton

July 21, 2008

Fly With The Mourning Dove

Fly With The Mourning Dove

Today, my friend, Velda Brotherton has consented to guest blog for me. She has TWO new books out!

FLY WITH THE MOURNING DOVE: A creative nonfiction biography. Six-year-old Edna accompanies her parents to a homestead on the high desert of New Mexico after World War One. There she grows up among the artists and other early settlers around the Taos area. Today, at the age of 94, she lives in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and manages both ranches, one in New Mexico and the other in Colorado.

IMAGES IN SCARLET: A western historical romance by Samantha Lee. Allie Caine sets out from Missouri after the Civil War to establish a photography shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She finds romance with a man known only to himself as Jake, consorts with outlaws and helps an abused woman escape her cruel husband.

Here’s what happened when Velda and I sat down for a little Q & A recently:

1. What type stories do you write and what drew you to this genre?

My favorite genres are historical in nature. I’ve written a creative nonfiction biography, and a lot of western
historical romances. Probably if I would stick to those, I’d either be famous or rich, or both by now. My problem is I enjoy both reading and writing so many genres I have trouble sticking to one. You wouldn’t believe the manuscripts I’ve stockpiled. Everything from horror to women’s fiction.

2. How did you begin writing and could you describe your writing process?

Images in Scarlet

Images in Scarlet

I began one rainy Sunday afternoon, with football on the only TV station we received at that time. For a long while I’d been intrigued by the stories of men returning from Vietnam, and I began to wonder what were the women like who dealt with these returning heroes? I started daydreaming the story, one thing led to another and I wrote the book. First in a notebook, then with a small, portable electric typewriter. It went on to lead me to other writers, to gain me an agent and came so close to selling so many times it was heartbreaking. But that began my hunger to put words on paper, though I had made up stories all my life.

3. Where can readers find your books?

I actually have four books available now. They are at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and BooksaMillion online.
4. What are you working on now?

I just finished a western historical romance. It’s the story of a reluctant English bride who comes to America and the victorian settlement of Victoria City, Kansas, only to find she can’t stand her husband-to-be, so she hires an outlaw to kidnap her.

5. Do you have a website so readers can learn more?

Yes, definitely. It’s

6. Who’s your favorite author and why?

Now, I always have trouble with that question. I read so many genres and enjoy a favorite author in each. Some of the best selling authors, of course. They are best sellers for a reason. I enjoy Tami Hoag a lot. Kathy Reichs who writes the Bones series is terrific. Jeffrey Deaver writes some great books and he’s a great guy as well. James Lee Burke literally takes his readers to Louisiana where we experience the bayous as if we were there. I could go on and on, but I will spare you that.
7. How does writing fiction compare to non-fiction?

Fiction is easier. That’s the simple answer. While historical fiction has to be right on the money history wise, we can turn ourselves loose with the characters and story itself, as long as we don’t meet Jesse James in Texas in 1850. I’ve written historical nonfiction and find I like creative nonfiction the best, though it too is very difficult because every character and locale must be precisely correct. I’ve written two nonfiction books on the history of an area and those were the toughest books I’ve ever written because they cover such a vast period of time that it’s difficult to get hold of specific characters.
8. Have you created a favorite character?

If so, please tell us about them. Allie Caine, the woman photographer in Images In Scarlet is probably my favorite character. She’s much like I might have been had I lived during her lifetime. As it is, I was a tomboy who played football with the boys, even stepped in to fight my little brother’s battles on more than one occasion. Allie takes nothing off anyone, yet she’s compassionate and romantic. She knows what she wants and sets out with determination to get it, no matter the barriers.
9. What’s the greatest challenge you face in your writing and how are you overcoming it?

Trying to write too many things at the same time. I’ve got so much going right now that I’ve had to get really ornery with myself and organized my time to allow for better concentration. It’s true that when I try to multi-task, all my tasks suffer and most especially the quality of my writing. So it’s short stories and articles one day, promotion another, book in progress the rest of the days. And I do write at least four hours a day, six days a week.
10. What’s been the greatest help in improving your writing?

I think the one thing that’s taught me more about myself and my writing than anything else is teaching workshops. You’d be surprised how much more a teacher can learn by teaching. First there’s the preparation to make sure everything is cutting edge, then when we begin the task of teaching, there’s making sure we listen closely to what our students say. Attending others’ workshops of course, is always a learning experience as well. But we have to be careful because not everything we’re taught at workshops can be applied to our own work. It’s a fine line we writers walk when we set out to learn our craft.

That’s so true, Velda. Thanks for stopping by today. If you’d like to leave a comment or question for Velda, please do! I’m sure she’d like to hear from you.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today. And best wishes to Velda on her new releases! Please visit to read an excerpt and to purchase DOVE.