Readers: Judy Vaughn's book, Strawberry Roan, is a collection of stories starting from her childhood on a New Mexico horse ranch where she trained horses . As an adult, she became a wife, mother, and a neurologist! She shares interesting events throughout her life in college, traveling through Mexico with an infant, and as a neurologist in a state mental hospital. Once I started reading Strawberry Roan, I found her book fascinating and hard to put down . I think you will enjoy reading my interview with Judy. (Elaine)
"Share something about yourself:"
I’m now into my third generation of a life bubbling over with three adult children and six grandchildren. Strawberry Roan, my memoir, recounts the part of my life spent in New Mexico (as well as several temporary absences for education and service) that too place from the 1950s to the 1980s.
"Tell us about your writing."
After I retired from forty plus years as a physician, I began to write the story of my beloved New Mexico youth. As I wrote, I studied the craft of writing for ten years. I wanted to write the best memoir I could.
I began writing short vignettes of my life in no special order. Once I had the story I wanted to tell, I arranged them into a loose chronology. Slowly I was able to show the roller-coaster of happiness and disappointment of my life, and how that was shaped into resilience and peace
"Who is the prime audience for your book?"
Horselovers! It's a horse story. Much of it involves the day-to-day details of caring for horses. There is both joy and sorrow. It will inspire any woman determined to balance an intense hobby, a family, and an unusual care-giving profession.
"Do you have other books published?"
Not at this time. I plan to publish another collection of stories, including a true family story from Tristan da Cunha, the most remote island in the world. I wrote A Quiet Little Civil Rights Project in 2013; it's no longer in print. I describe it in Strawberry Roan, Ch. XXI. " Beatrice Made Me Do It”
"How could you recall all the past details from your life, particularly conversations?"
Our brains reconstruct the details if we give them a hint. Most memoirs emphasize story over exactitude, emotional truth over facts. I frequently discussed my recollections with my sisters and others, and wrote the story that reflected our shared truths. Where facts seemed important, I sought documentation in newspapers, hundreds of photos, programs, directories and historical documents.
I sought to speak a child’s voice or a teen’s where needed and to show the author’s own opinions and feelings, both contemporaneous and in reflection,.
In my writing, dialogue was exact when I had a source, such as a letter, otherwise it was reconstructed. Sometimes I consolidated several true events for the sake of story interest.
I show that life was different in the last century. I trained horses with almost no help when I was very young. That was amazing, even to me. Reflecting on that, I recall Mother worrying about me alone at the barn, but I don’t see her jumping in the car to see if I was okay.
The take-aways in Strawberry Roan are often lessons in well-earned humility. The struggle for understanding continues.
"Where can your book, Strawberry Roan, be purchased?"
Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, Capital Books on I Street, Sacramento, CA., OP Cit Books, Sante Fe, New Mexico, Paper Trail, LasVegas, New Mexico. It includes over thirty personal photographs. . Also available at Amazon in paperback at https://bit.ly/StrawberryRoanBook
"Thanks for sharing your stories in your novel, Judy."
I'm sure my readers will enjoying reading your memoir and the interesting aspects of your life.