I’m always excited by entrepreneurs, because I did not come into this world with any of those skills. When I learned about your new endeavor, Victoria, curiosity got the better of me and I needed to know what stimulated you to start this new business. Can you tell us a little about the school and its beginnings?
Victoria: Sure. I was on holiday with my great friend and co-director, Katrina Rasbold. We were chatting about the process of writing, and our various skillsets. We realized that just between the two of us there was a wealth of information at our fingertips that could help other writers to make their books better. Also, research! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten bogged down in the research to come up with an authentic detail for a character or setting. If I had some information compiled by other writers just for me, and condensed down into useful information, I would have taken advantage of it while writing my first novel.
Robena: You are so right. Someone else doing the research would be a godsend. I’m so happy for you. It has been quite a year. Who do you envision gaining the most benefit from the classes? The beginning writer, the advanced, or is there something for everyone?
Victoria: There is absolutely something for everyone. The beginning writer will be able to avail themselves of the grammar classes, for example. A more seasoned writer may know all there is to know about structure and mechanics, but if their heroine is going to give birth in some high dramatic fashion, that author could download our Pregnancy and Childbirth series, and get some pointers and details on the process—especially the things that other authors commonly get wrong—an element which many of our lessons feature!
Robena: How do you manage switching hats between your day job and life in general, writing, volunteering at LARA, and the school? You always seem so in control, and so calm. : )
Victoria: Well thank you for that compliment! I have a lot of help and support from my chapter mates, and Katrina is great because she created our website, and the lion’s share of our content. Her calming influence is often rubbed off on me. I also try to prioritize and make daily checklists. When I focus on simply what must happen in the next twenty four hours, a lot of the extra stuff falls away. I like to begin and end each day with just a few minutes of reflection, too, to keep balance and harmony. That doesn’t always work, but I give it a try!
Robena: I’m a big believer in meditation. Now, please tell us a little about your instructors. How do you choose the workshops taught at the school? Are you planning to offer specific classes at certain times of the year, and repeat those? Also, what about new classes? How frequently will those be added?
Victoria: Right now we have four different instructors. Each class was based on that instructor’s direct experience as a professional and as a writer. We each created classes that would be interesting to us and that we would have been interested in taking as students. Right now all our courses are offered year round, but we are just starting out, so we expect the process to evolve. New classes and instructors will be added occasionally, so keep checking back for new and exciting subjects. Right now we don’t have a particular schedule for adding classes.
Robena: I like the concept of the school. It offers so much for so many. Where do you see the school in one year? In five years? With so many online classes available to writers, how do you plan to make the school become a standout?
Victoria: Great question, and thank you for the compliment. In one year, I’d like to see the Writers’ School thriving not only as a school, but also as a research resource, and a forum where other students can help each other. One way that makes us different is that we offer the traditional writing courses in grammar, but we also offer things like my course on Domestic Violence, most specifically from the perspective of a romance writer. This is a pretty unique slant on a taboo topic. Also, Katrina’s Pregnancy and Childbirth class was so interesting for me to read. When creating a high drama scene with a character giving birth, I look back to what I’ve seen on television, and that often gets it wrong. With this class from The Writers’ School, I learn about what the process is really about without getting overwhelmed with a Google search and most importantly, I find new and ACCURATE ways to create drama and complications for my characters. We also offer a BDSM 101 class taught by a professional writer and someone who has an active role in that lifestyle. Students of that class will be getting a very unique perspective and insight into that world.
Robena: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Victoria. I know how busy you are but I wanted to share this information with my readers, and to take this opportunity to wish you and your co-directors much success with The Writers’ School.
Bio Links to Katrina and Victoria: http://thewritersschool.com/?page_id=98
Direct link. http://thewritersschool.com/