Dr Victoria Wilson-Crane Interview Published on: 22, Jul 2022

What were some of your favorite books as a child?

I loved Enid Blyton books, The Magic Faraway Tree and the Malory Towers series were firm favourites. As a teenager my favourite book I read was The Go Between by L. P. Hartley.

What were some aspirations you had as a child? If your 12-year-old self were to see you today, do you think she would be satisfied with who she would become?

My 12 year old self would be a bit surprised, that’s for sure! She wanted to be a Forensic Scientist but my Chemistry wasn’t strong enough for me to progress with that beyond compulsory school. I think she’d be satisfied that I’m making a difference, ‘tho, in my current work in education and in my grief recovery work.

What was the most challenging experience you had while supporting children and adults grieving life losses.?

It’s honestly not as challenging as you might think; many people tell me it must be tough, but I actually find other people’s stories fascinating, and it’s a privilege they trust me so much to be able to share their stories with me. It can be heart-breaking but you realise that most of us are dealing with things that many people don’t know about – that has increased my empathy in everyday life. The biggest challenge is finding the time to fit everything in as there’s plenty of people out there who could benefit from Grief Recovery support.

Have you always loved writing or was it something that developed during your later years?

Like many children I enjoyed creative writing, including poems etc. but I was too shy to share these with many people. I loved writing letters as a teenager and I was a keen penpal. Now, I more frequently communicate in writing electronically. I prefer writing to speaking, in many ways as I have time to think. I now really enjoy writing for work, too.

What inspired you to write the memoir and self-help book Sixteen Days?

My niece, Mary-Lou, died suddenly and unexpectedly, aged just 22, in 2020. I initially started to write down my feelings as a way to process the grief and the pain I was experiencing. I then realised there might be something in the story that could help other people. So the idea came about. In the book I describe some of the things people said and did in those Sixteen Days between her death and the funeral, which really helped. So many people said “I don’t know what to say.”

Do you think using social media as a marketing and promotional platform is helpful?

Social media has definitely helped me reach people I could never have, without it. For example, I have been interviewed for podcasts in the US and Canada and copies of Sixteen Days are now in Australia because people saw posts on LinkedIn. I am still learning what works best and that’s an interesting journey, in itself.

How did writing help you in facing the significant bereavements in 2020?

The process of writing helped me to get difficult and challenging thoughts out of my head and in some kind of order. The thoughts were those I’d not shared with others; as I describe in the book, I see myself on one of the ‘outer rings’ of grief, not quite at the epicentre. It was hard to find people to share my thoughts with verbally, so writing them down really helped.

How has been your experience of being an educational innovator?

I’m proud of the opportunity I have, every day, to try to change the world, a tiny little bit, through developing great learning experiences for students. It’s fun thinking of new ideas and trying them out and seeing the engagement and feedback from students come through. I really enjoy this work.

When reading a new book, what is one thing that is a surefire way to capture your attention?

The cover is something that I look at, and also, if I’m in a bookstore, how to book feels. I considered this carefully when I was preparing the cover for Sixteen Days. Some of my readers have said it’s lovely to hold, and that’s just what I was aiming for.

What sort of difference do you think a book makes in a child's life?

I think fiction books really help with imagination, and this is important for our children. I was lucky enough to have a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica when I was at home. We took great care of these books and used them for homework etc. – in the days before the internet, it was the way to find out useful things – I loved them.

Who is the most influential person you know and how have they helped you as an author?

In terms of influence over my writing, it would have to be Mary-Lou. I hope she’d be happy with the book I created.

Which is the best compliment or fan-mail you have received for your work?

I have been bowled over by the response to the book – and I’ve felt a tiny bit famous with lots of mail, messages, email, texts etc. Several people have said they’ve learned something and they now feel confident to know how to speak to people who are grieving, that makes me feel like I’ve made a difference and achieved my aim.

Which is the next book you are working on? Is it a series or a stand-alone book?

I’m working on a second edition of Sixteen Days as lots of the people who have got in touch with me have said they’d like to share their stories of their own grief, too – so I’m just working on some ideas around that, as well as some Sixteen Days workbooks and journals etc.

When did you join AllAuthor? What do you think of the experience so far?

I joined AllAuthor earlier this year and I’m finding it really useful to find out about new books and new authors – it’s a great resource.

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