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?
Current events? Well, let's see. I happen to have 2 recent releases, one in Feb, and one in March, so that's pretty current. And quite gratifying. Won't have another new title coming out 'til Oct. 2011 so read slowly!
I won't be doing anything slowly for the next two years since I have a contract to write 1 series book, 3 Love Inspired Suspenses, 2 Love Inspired Historicals and 1 straight Love Inspired Romance. Yes, folks, that's 7!!! I can hardly believe it either. Guess I won't have to worry about keeping busy to keep myself out of trouble.
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.
I dropped a loaded gun and it went off. The newer models don't do that but this was a .22 pistol that my husband had given me many moons ago and it didn't have the safety features they all do now. It was when the hammer of the gun hit the floor that it fired. My hand was nowhere near it. Neither was my husband. He heard the shot and came running. I could not BELIEVE what had occurred. I just stood there and stared at my shin, below my knee. At first all I felt was a hit, like you'd get that might leave a bruise. It sure did!
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?
I don't have any plans for further research featuring catastrophes. It was scary enough to write about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake in RESCUING THE HEIRESS after having lived in California for many years, and then to feature a forensic artist in FACE OF DANGER. Among my many life adventures I've been a commercial artist so I could really identify with her, too.
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 Hansen’s basic nature is to enjoy every day to the fullest – and that includes her writing. She’s always loved stories about people who have successfully met and overcome life’s challenges, as has she.
Her personal life sounds a lot like a popular novel. She married her high school sweetheart and they raised two great kids before leaving California to pursue their dreams of a rural lifestyle in the Arkansas Ozarks. That relocation has also given her work a new focus and has opened her mind to embrace the adventurous pioneer culture that settled this country.
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.
Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. In 2005, Anita Mae decided to return to writing and make it a priority in her life. She writes old west stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Her characters are strong because the land demands it. Anita Mae likes to write characters who sit up and notice when that special person God’s chosen just for them walks by. The story is all about the courtship between the two main characters. But it won’t be an easy path. And if they don’t know about God at the beginning of the book, they will by the end. Anita Mae has finaled in the 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest in the Inspirational category, the 2008 Gateway to the Best in the Contemporary Series category, and the 2008 Golden Gateway in the Long Contemporary category. She’s currently waiting to hear the phone ring and have someone say they want to buy Emma’s Outlaw. Meanwhile, she’s working on another story and trying to keep her imagination in check. A pathological picture taker, she usually has a photo or two of the quirky world she lives in on her blog at http://anitamaedraper.blogspot.com/
Wow, Valerie! I must say, you sure do go all out for your research. ;-)ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing such an interesting story with us today. Congratulations on all of your upcoming contracts. I can't wait to read each book!
Thanks for visiting, Valerie. Sound like you'd be fun to hang out with -- as long as your guns are safely locked in a cabinet ;)ReplyDelete
That is dedication! I don't think I could go that far to research for one of my books. But it is a great example of how to use anything in life to improve your writing.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing a part of your adventure! Congratulations on all the book contracts!
I admire your dedication, but I think I'm going to fall just shy of shooting myself in the name of of authenticity!ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by, Val. Sounds like hanging out with you would be a hoot!
Every time I read one of Val's books, I keep wondering how far she went for the research. :DReplyDelete
I know she shot herself by accident, but still, if makes you wonder, eh.
Thanks for joining us at the Inkwell, Val.
Wow, amazing story Val! Thanks so much for visiting us at the Inkwell today. I loved getting to know you and I'll be on the lookout for your books. Congratulations on all of the contracts!ReplyDelete
Okay, now I am REALLY confused. I checked this morning, figured I had the MONTH wrong and told everybody to look her in April! I told you I was slightly out-of-plumb.ReplyDelete
Trust me, I did not shoot myself on purpose. A lot of my writer friends had trouble believing that because just before the accident I had had my husband tape my wrists together with duct tape to see how hard it was to escape. Then the gun went off and well, you get the idea.
I'll check back later.
So, uh... how hard was it to escape from duct tape?!ReplyDelete
LOL, Lisa! That reminds me of the Castle episode where he had his daughter duct-tape him to the chair and then leave so he could figure out how to get out of it. I wonder if Valerie did something similar? ;-)ReplyDelete
Actually, that episode of Castle had me rolling on the floor. IT'S HARD to get that stuff off. And it's extra nasty because the glue stuff gets stuck to your teeth. Ugh! In the book I was writing at the time I did NOT have my heroine chew herself loose. I suppose it could be done but I sure didn't stick to the task long enough.ReplyDelete
Suzie, since Val tried the duct tape tactic over 2 yrs ago, I bet the writers of Castle read Val's book. Heh.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry about not giving the url in our emails, Val. Totally my fault.
And that's all I'm taking the blame for today. :D
If you don't succeed at first, try again. I was behind the door when internet savvy was handed out, so you may receive two messages or none at all.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed reading the story of your life. Although I've known you for several years, I learned some new things about you today.
Congratulations on your success as an author. You have enough work laid out for you to keep you out of trouble, such as shooting yourself in the leg.
I appreciate you. Irene Brand
Hmmm... Valerie, it makes me wonder what you'll do next. Could you have someone record it so you could share it with us? ;-)ReplyDelete
Val is as much fun as she sounds. Glad to include her among my friends. Go, Val!ReplyDelete
Val, are you behaving today? You didn't tell them about the pink pistol. Don't you have one?ReplyDelete
I just bought your latests book. Can't wait to read it. You know you are one of my favorite people ever!
Well, now another secret is out. Yes, folks, I asked for and received a pink .38 for Christmas last year. It's short-barrelled so it kicks but it's cute as can be. And it came with all the modern safety features so I can't drop if and shoot myself. Darned good thing, too. That makes a BIG hole.ReplyDelete
Also, to answer Suzie - I record many of my "exploits" in my books. Life is a hoot. Might as well enjoy it.ReplyDelete
Blessings to all,
Oh, Val - I had forgotten that episode, so it brought a chuckle.ReplyDelete
I'm so enjoying reading Rescuing the Heiress. I recommend it to all the blogs readers.
Thanks for visiting today Val! Anita is a great fan and truly loyal to the Steeple Hill division. Or should I say Love Inspired?ReplyDelete
Your story gave me a good laugh! Congratulations on SEVEN stories. I really had no idea you were writing across lines. I'm really impressed-good for you!
oh- and I'm going to get Castle on netflix one of these days. I'm so out of touch but I know how well-loved that series is. The duct-tape scene sounds great.
ya shoot your self! reading one of your books, now. ya know I can't read slow :)
looking forward to your other books!
Well, good night all. It's been fun. And so far my evening has been uneventful. Notice I said, "So far."ReplyDelete
Hey Val, thanks so much for starting our week off with a bang!ReplyDelete
Praying your 'klutziness' doesn't do you more harm. :D
Too funny! Thanks for sharing your "oops" with us today, Val!ReplyDelete
Really fun AND inspirational! Thanks Anita- this lady is awesom!ReplyDelete
Yeah, ya know you didn't mention anything about the DUCT TAPE in your blog.... I'd like to hear THE REST OF THE STORY.ReplyDelete
BTW, DUCT TAPE comes in all sorts of COLORS and PATTERNS, THESE days. I hope your heroine didn't have plain ol' dull grey!