Getting to Know Brenda Knight Graham
BRENDA KNIGHT GRAHAM has entertained audiences of both adults and children with her romances, children’s adventure stories, and non-fiction. Brenda, born in 1942 near Clarkesville, Georgia, moved to Cairo, Georgia in 1968 where she and her husband Charles, a veterinarian, raised their two children. They now have five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Brenda has had eight books published including her newest, a picture book for young children titled One Brown Cow. Two of her romances, Juliana of Clover Hill and On Wings of Song were republished in anthologies by Zondervan and Barbour. Her first book Stone Gables published by Broadman Press won a place as “Book of the Month” on the Christian Herald Book Club list. Brenda has also written articles, stories and poems for magazines such as “Country,” “Homeschooling Magazine,” “Mature Living,” “Georgia Life,” and “Grit.”
1. What do you think is the most important thing about children's literature?
BKG: I feel that perhaps the most important role children's literature plays
is to give readers the chance to "walk in someone else's shoes" if only
for a little while. I like for children who read my books to experience
what my characters do and feel enough to sympathize, grow wiser, and even,
maybe see themselves in a different light. But, seriously, I think
children need to enjoy reading and I aim to make that happen!
2. Do you believe in the phrase "write what you know?"
BKG: Yes, I do believe in "writing what I know." All my books, whether fiction or nonfiction, are either based on true stories, are stories I've lived, or are gathered from both and embellished with my imagination. I do also believe in leaning heavily on research from live sources, as well as on books and even internet. I love my encyclopedias, thesaurus, biographies and social studies textbooks.
3. What does your writing space look like?
BKG: I have a beautiful, though not elaborate, desk. I like my desk, not
just for its usefulness and beauty, but because my dear grandson Charles
put it together for me and it has lots of shelves and drawers. There is
room for my computer center stage. I have favorite dictionaries,
thesaurus, other resources close by. Above my computer is a "favorites"
shelf where I can see my mother, my number one encourager, smiling at me.
Beside her is my bird sighting book and a hummingbird carving by Jim White
given me by my husband one Christmas. On the top of my desk are3 photos of
my children and a collection of skater figurines. Around me in the room is
a bookcase full of favorites like "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri and "A Day No
Pigs Would Die" by Robert Peck. Aside from filing cabinets full of
manuscripts, research projects, etc. there is a daybed for grandchildren
to flop on, and above it, inspiring examples of their artwork. A
comfortable rocking chair has a good reading (and writing!) lamp beside
it. My window view includes a beautiful grove of magnolia trees shading a
bird bath well attended by cardinals and mockingbirds.
4. When you started writing *One Brown Cow*, did you know what you wanted the ending to be?
BKG: I wrote four or five versions of "One Brown Cow." I was so fascinated
by the real one brown cow who had inherited her pasture for life. I was
also touched by my grandson's perceptions of her as we often passed her
pasture and made a game of who could spy her first. I guess by the time I
wrote that final version I did know how it would end and hoped it would be
helpful for children missing their parents.
5. You've written across many genres, what is your favorite genre to write?
BKG: My favorite genre is children's middle grade adventure fiction, such as
"The Pattersons at Turkey Hill House."
6. What is your earliest memory of writing? Did you write as a child?
BKG: I started writing as soon as I learned how to print. My first story
was about an inch long and involved a cat and a dog scrapping over the
cat's food. I was first published at the age of eleven when my very short
article about a young nephew was accepted by "Home Life," a nationally
7. What are you currently reading?
BKG: I usually read about three books simultaneously, that is, one at each
of my favorite reading places. I've just finished reading J.M.Barrie's
"Little Minister," am reading "The Name" by Franklin Graham, and am
starting "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles. Some of my favorite books to
read to my grandchildren are "All God's Children Got a Place in the Choir"
by Bill Staines and "Georgia Music" by Helen V. Griffith. And, of course
always they love Dr. Seuss books!