Meet Victoria Browne.
I was born and raised in south London. As a child, I would dream of becoming a writer but sadly dyslexia hindered this dream. Dyslexia for a creative writer is a cruel disability. I carried a vocabulary in my head that did not match my spelling ability.
At the age of twenty-five, I sought help, determined to learn to spell. I worked on developing my memory with a therapist, which helped me go back to the basics that I’d missed as school. Toward the end of my program, my therapist asked me to write a diary to help develop my reading and writing skills. I explained that I did not like writing diaries but had written some romantic scenes. My therapist suggested building a beginning and an end to one of the scenes I had written. This was the birth of my first book, Gut Feeling. I wanted my friends and family to read my work, and so I researched. This is how I discovered the world of self-publishing.
Being a dyslexic in the world of creative writing will always leave you vulnerable to harsh criticism. Though I never gave up on my abilities, only proud of them.
With a great deal of determination, I progressed to where I am today, living in Los Angeles, California with my Husband and rescue dog Tango. I spend my days as a, writer’s motivation coach, an author, and personal fitness coach.
In my spare time I enjoy Thai Boxing, and I like to drink copious amounts of champagne, whenever possible.
Social media links:
What is your favorite social media outlet to connect with readers?
Instagram. I like it because it’s visual, but you can also use it like a blog to connect with users on a different level.
How do you think social media reflects readership?
Twitter is where I go for my new, Instagram for blogs and pictures, and Facebook for what’s going on in my town—along with junk media. They are the modern newspaper and magazine.
When writing elements of romance, are there certain tropes you like and or tend to avoid?
I try to avoid all clichés, though if it fits, and feels good it’s not an issue for me.
Did you have a different writing process for your short story Slip compared to your other full length works?
Not really. I like to have a plot written out for any length book I write. The difference with my short story “Slip,” is that the elements of the characters lives are based on the real lives of my mother and auntie. I had the idea for my story years ago, but as I sat down to write the plot I remembered a conflict my mum had with her sister. And so, I called my mother and asked if she wouldn’t mind me using their story as material for a book. I wanted to add real sole to my short story, and I hope I achieved this. I enjoyed talking to my mother about her childhood memories, and it was a different process adding real-life to fiction life.
I’m sure you’re asked this a lot… but… do you have a favorite of the books you published?
Slip, for the reasons above. It was nice working with my mother. And Gut Feeling because of where it came from. However, I do really like the story line of “Third Time Lucky – Notting Hill Gossip.”
(For my American readers. In England, we say “Third time lucky” instead of “Third time is a charm.”)
Writing coach, personal fitness coach, and author. How do you balance your work life and your writing life?
When I was in the world of finance with a 9 to 5 it was harder! However, now I am a personal trainer it is easy. Most clients like to see me before they go to work, after work, or weekends. So, during the day I am able to write, and coach. I also find that my writers like to schedule calls later in the evening after they have written or if they have a writing blocks. I basically work all the time, yet it all somehow fits in to my life!
What would you say to a child you, or a child in general, who has dyslexia but dreams of writing?
Talk to someone, tell them you need help. Do not be embarrassed of your abilities, and never think you cannot become an author because your dyslexic. You can do anything you set your mind to.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?
I would like to thank them for taking the time to read my Q&A. And, I’d like to thank you for asking such fun questions.