Local author releases children's book
Author Melinda Bramlett Joyner, originally from Waynesville, recently released a children's book, "Snowball."
Q: Tell me a little about yourself you are from Haywood?
A: I was born in Waynesville, at the old Haywood County Hospital, on a snowy Easter Sunday morning. My mother told me that on the same day, en route to the hospital, a section of Waynesville, called Frog Level, caught on fired and burned up quite a bit. I, along with my sister and brother, attended elementary school at Crabtree Ironduff and then at Beaverdam School.
My family contains five generations of Champion Paper employees. Both of my parents were born in Haywood County, as well as my grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides.
We moved to Hamilton, Ohio when I was 11 years old due to a promotion/transfer for my dad with Champion Paper Co. We left many friends and family when we made this move. Upon my dad’s retirement, my parents moved back to Haywood County in 1985. They lived and owned property in the White Oak Community. I still own property on White Oak; it has remnants of the house where my grandfather, Martin Vaughn Bramlett, Sr. was born.
Q: Tell me about "Snowball" and how you came up with the story.
A: When we were driving back home to the mountains one time, I just picked up my pad and pencil and “Snowball” was born. I keep paper and pencil in the car and beside my bed. However, I have been known to write a poem while swinging in a hammock on the side of the mountain as I take in the beauty of the Mountain Laurel that frames our house in the spring. I do my best writing in those places. My first children’s book “Boogie Dog and Guinea” was actually a true story with the main characters, Boogie and Guinea, belonging to our neighbors here.
Q: Why children books? Do you enjoy writing anything else?
A: I have loved to write since I can remember. I love writing poetry and have had some of my work published in magazines and newspapers. My first poem was done in elementary school. I won a prize for my poem, “Little Gray House.” And later in middle school, I had my poem, titled “Abraham Lincoln” published in a magazine. I had a poem about my father title “Papa Cleaned My Shoes” in a book of poetry a few years ago.
As I have gotten older, and our grandchildren have come along, I have tried to write a poem about each of them. We have nine grandchildren, seven boys, and two girls, ranging in age from 2 to 13. This is such fun for me. Three of our grandchildren were adopted from Russia; but I have been blessed to be right there when they first came home.
I love children and have worked in Vacation Bible Schools, Head Start, as well as having two children of my own and two step daughters.
This is my 2nd children’s book. I love animals and their antics. Both of my published children’s books are about animals. I grew up always having a dog. And here in Hiawassee, we do not own a dog, but several appear at our door every day to visit and play. We had a cat, Attiemae, for 14 years. Just lost her last year. We still miss her and sometimes talk to her like she is still here. Attiemae was a severe diabetic and we gave two insulin shots a day for 12 of her 14 years.
My first book, “Boogie Dog and Guinea,” was a true story about our neighbor’s dog and an unusual relationship with a wild guinea. It is lovely story well illustrated and loved by children. The book I’m announcing now is Snowball and was published by Tate Publishing. It is fictional, but another beautiful story with a special positive message for children.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A: Hope they will experience the thrill of reading (or being read to). They will learn that we are all unique and should be proud of our own special uniqueness. We can all contribute in our own way to making this a better world. And, no matter what our circumstances, we all are valuable and can be strong in our own way to make a difference.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
A: Keep at it and take every opportunity to write about what you see and experience. In addition, spend some time alone with your pencil and paper (or sometimes I just have my laptop) and let your imagination run away with you. That is both fun and productive. And, just as important, be an avid reader. I especially love the non-fiction written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I also collect her books.
Q: Where can people purchase your book?
A: Snowball can be purchased from Tate Publishing at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore or at www.amazon.com