About the Author
Melinda G. McCall, D.V.M.
Melinda McCall, DVM, was born and raised on a dairy farm nestled in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. She wanted to pursue veterinary medicine from a young age and was determined to prove wrong those who discouraged her. Her job is more than a career; it’s a calling.
Dr. Melinda owns a large animal mobile veterinary service in Virginia. [Click Here] She and her all-female staff specialize in Beef and Dairy cattle herds, swine, small ruminant animals, and camelids. A woman in a male-dominated field, she has mastered the ability to do the work she loves while also educating and inspiring others through her expertise, passion, and grit.
She earned a BS in Biology from Queens University and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Melinda resides in Louisa, Virginia, with her daughter Lucy and their beloved Border Collie, Cap. Dr. Melinda is passionate about agricultural education and loves giving back to her community.
What do you do to relax or do for fun?
I love to play and coach basketball. I also enjoy scuba diving. And I especially love to seek out volunteer opportunities in my community in which Lucy, my six-year-old daughter, and I can volunteer together. I firmly believe that teaching kindness starts at home!
How do you incorporate veterinary facts into your memoir?
I found that to be somewhat difficult. I didn’t want to be too technical in my writing because I wanted it to appeal to a large audience, but I did want to introduce readers to medical terms and procedures so they could see how complex veterinary medicine can be. I tried to include the facts and statistics that I believe are important not only to veterinary medicine but also to agriculture. One of the most important facts I highlight in Driving Home Naked is: “Only 1 percent of our population is directly involved in animal agriculture and 1 percent raises crops. Literally 2 percent of the population produces the food, while 100 percent of the population eats it.” This is a startling statistic!
Who are your favorite authors and influences?
One of my favorite authors is Frank McCourt, author of one of my favorite books, Angela’s Ashes. I especially enjoyed his work since I did part of my undergraduate and veterinary education in Sligo, Ireland.
I have always admired Maya Angelou because of her amazing ability to excel at so many types of writing, and for her practical wisdom. My favorite Maya Angelou quote is, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
1. Don’t be afraid to try writing, even if you never have it published, writing is good exercise for your brain, and it can be therapeutic.
2. Work with a writing coach. They have so much knowledge of the process and they can teach you so much. They can also really help you stay on a timeline.
3. The first line is the hardest, and you’ll never finish if you don’t start. Just force yourself to sit down and put the pen to the paper!