by Anita Mae Draper
When I asked Valerie Hansen if she'd like to blog with us for Current Events, I asked if she'd relate the time she shot herself. After all, the Inkies are writers who are trying to engage you, the readers, with the best possible story we can imagine. Who better to ask than someone who has gone through the experience. And whether her books are based on reality or imagination, I've bought them on sight since reading her first one.
Val, welcome to the Inkwell and since it's Monday, what's new in your life?
Actually, except for a wrenched knee that I got while climbing a steep bank to go fishing and a broken arm from tripping while doing yard work, I haven't been in much trouble since I shot myself in the shin a couple of years ago. (I just do this stuff for research, you know) Actually, I'm a klutz. Always was, always will be. And the shot to my leg was a total accident.
Anyway, not only was I blessed to have hit nothing vital, the revolver was loaded with birdshot, those little pellets that don't make a big hole, so other than feeling really foolish I healed quickly. The doctor in ER got a chuckle out of it too because he knows me.
Of course I then "shot" several of my characters in various ways so I could use my own reactions and make the scenes very realistic. I was waiting for a NY editor to argue with me so I could show off my scar but that never happened. I guess the book had that special ring of authenticity, huh?
Anyway, if you should chance to meet me, don't be scared. I always carry my pistols with an empty chamber under the hammer these days. The hog-leg in the photo was just borrowed for the photo, honest.
Valerie has always loved to write. The strong conviction that this is what she was meant to do led her to pursue a career as a novelist. Besides extensive research, she has plenty of interesting experiences to draw upon when creating stories. She’s been a veterinary assistant, teacher’s aide, volunteer fire department dispatcher, Emergency Medical Technician, bank worker, professional artist, store clerk, bookkeeper, 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher, gospel singer/songwriter, winning quiz show contestant, dog trainer, college extension-class instructor, and antique restorer. She’s built dulcimers and a psaltery, laid bricks and tile, designed stained-glass windows, roofed a house, decorated store windows for the holidays, helped pour cement, raised fancy guinea pigs and finches, driven a long-haul moving van, and was once the proud owner of twenty-three Newfoundland dogs at one time. Her advice? Don’t try that at home!
Valerie and her husband now live on an eighty acre farm in northern Arkansas. She loves to hike the rocky, wooded hills behind the picturesque old house they renovated, watch for the wildlife so abundant in the area, and think up new ideas for her many books.