Monday, February 08, 2010

Make-Believe Monday with Velda Brotherton

Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Velda Brotherton. I met Velda at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference which is held every year in Eureka Springs, AR.

Velda, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Velda: Happy to. A few years back I wrote a mystery that I hoped would be a series. Then I became caught up in works on contract and set it aside. This story, I find now is too blah for today's marketplace, so I'm rewriting. Working title is Katt and Mouse.

My main character, Charity Katt, has come home to close down her brother Willie's Detective Agency in Wichita, Kansas. She's a channeler and performs a bit of magic occasionally, never having settled down in one place. At home, she finds her dead brother's ghost "living," and a request from an old friend of his whose father was murdered several years earlier. Her brother Willie urges her to take the case and offers his ectoplasmic assistance. Reluctantly, because she is curious about this famous man who has been in hiding, she decides to "consult" with him about the murder of his father. This leads her into a bizarre adventure in which her abilities are challenged to the limit to save her own life.

I'm having a lot of fun changing the old dull story into what I hope will be a salable mystery series.

Debra: And if you're having fun with the story that will come through. It sounds like a fun story.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Velda: Most definitely. That occurs along about the third or fourth chapter. I'm so attuned to this happening, that I'm thoroughly prepared at that point to begin anew with my "alive friends" now able to act and react the way they should. I prefer this way of getting acquainted to making up pages of characterizations before beginning my story. It helps me create characters who are capable of handling everything I'm going to throw at them throughout the book because the story has begun to spin away in my head by the end of three or four chapters, and I know what it will take for my characters to survive.

Debra: It's similar for me. Chapter three is when my story comes to life and so often those first three chapters are either rewritten or the first two I just carve away. I wonder how many authors also find this to be true of chapter three? Would love to have a poll some time to find out.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Velda: Besides fiction, I write a lot of historical nonfiction based on people who have long gone into the next world. I find many times they actually talk to me, especially when I visit their homesite or grave. I once carried on a long conversation with an 11 year old boy who had been buried more than a hundred years. I find cemeteries to be very peaceful and conducive to this type of visits.

My fictional characters are often then based on some of these real people I've chatted with. I used to think I might be a bit crazy, until I learned many writers do the same thing. I recall one day I sat down at my dining room table to drink a cup of coffee and began to gaze out the window into the valley below, it's stream flashing in the afternoon sun. I actually left my body and began to live an imaginary story that was taking place in that valley. I was totally surprised to come back to myself and see it was dark outside and several hours had passed. My coffee was cold and I had cramps from sitting so long in one position. I no longer think I'm crazy. I'm just another of those writers so immersed in the worlds I write about that it comes alive. It's best, however, to be sitting at my computer when this happens so I can record everything as it is at first look.

Debra: I wonder what would happen if every child grew up thinking that the things unique about them weren't crazy but simply made them unique and special. I keep hearing adults say this and have to think something happens between childhood and adulthood to make them think so. Of course if you said something happened in your dreams no one thinks that is crazy. Can get away with more saying it's a dream or daydream.

Velda: While I do dream a lot, my imagination creates much more interesting worlds than my dreams, which are disjointed and frankly not very interesting.

My website is www.veldabrotherton My blogs are and

Velda, thank you for joining me here on this Make-Believe Monday.

Debra's news/Debra is watching:

Well,currently I'm watching the snow outside my windows and wondering if we'll get more or get ice which they're calling for. If we do and the yoga studio I work at closes down, I'll have the evening free and will work on the manuscript. I make my snow days into writing days which to me is both work and play. :-)

Stay warm and drive safely if you have to go out!

Love and light,

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