Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Chatting with Victoria Lynn Schmidt

If you recall, I did a review of the book 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt a few blogs ago. It’s my great honor and privilege to have her here to talk about her road to publication and her books. First a little information about Victoria.

Victoria is the author of the popular book 45 Master Characters – Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters where she created and defined the Feminine and Masculine heroic journeys and character archetypes.
She is an active literary and non-fiction writer, and teacher. Her next book on writing Story Structure Architect: A Writer's Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters was released July 2005.

Victoria began her career as a screenwriter for film and television. She is a graduate from the prestigious film program at UCLA, holds a master's degree in writing from Loyola Marymount University and holds a PhD in traditional psychology. She will also be receiving a Doctorate in Holistic Life Coaching in 2006.

Victoria has studied Creativity, Psychology, Yoga, Reiki, Physics, Martial Arts and Goddess mythology and has a huge library covering a wide variety of subjects.

She firmly believes in self directed learning - "All of the famous authors I have met have told me of the importance of research to keep their muse well fed. A great writer is also an avid reader."

Victoria is currently putting the finishing touches on her new writing system titled The Holistic Writing Method™, a very unique system that promises not to disappoint.

Now to the interview:

DM:Victoria, how long have you been writing?

VLS: I’ve been writing professionally for about 9 years but really I’ve been writing all my life. I can remember writing Charlie’s Angels scripts as a kid!

DM: Can you tell us a little about your road to publication?

VLS: Well it happened out of angry passion. :-) I was so upset when my fellow students and I were told not to write female leads that I wrote my first non-fiction book (45 master characters) in response to that. I was fueled by that experience and didn’t think at all about writing for a specific market. Passion is such an important element. I sent the proposal out without an agent and got a deal fairly quickly. I was very determined and I was coming from a place of wanting to make a difference, however small.

DM: As a writer, what is your greatest challenge?

VLS: Discernment. As your career takes off, you will find a lot of projects and ideas from others coming your way. You need to know who you are as a writer and then only accept projects that are in line with that vision. Likewise, in the beginning stages you need to stay focused so you can get projects finished and polished. Writers tend to attract ideas like magnets.

DM:What do you like/love about being a writer?

VLS: Sharing ideas with others.

DM:What do you dislike/hate?

VLS: I love and hate the solitude.

DM: I noticed on your website you also write fiction. Do you enjoy both non-fiction and fiction equally, or do you have a preference?

VLS: I love to read non-fiction. I tend to put a lot of factual information and interesting ideas into my fiction work, sort of adding a bit of non-fiction into it.

DM: Let’s talk about your writing books. In 45 Master Characters, you use the seven Jungian archetypes. What made you choose these specific archetypes? And how did you develop the eighth one, The Messiah?

VLS: These archetypes really were the only ones to choose from. The Messiah archetype just came to me. Probably from watching the films I list in that chapter, especially The Matrix, and from my spiritual (non-religious) studies.

(Come back tomorrow for part two of Victoria's inteview as she tells us how she was told a script about a female hero wouldn't sell.)


Robin Caroll said...

I reference 45 Master Characters all the time and I'm halfway through STORY Structure. GREAT reference books! I love them!

Jennifer Tiszai said...

This book has been on my "to buy" list for awhile. Great job with the interview, Dineen. Can't wait to read the rest.

:-)Ronie said...

AWESOME interview, Neen! So glad you pursued her to get the interview. WAY TO GO!

Our group blog Story Board uses 45 Master Characters to build an UNUSUAL story with compelling characters by four different authors. Check it out: http://rrrd.blogspot.com

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Man I'm going to have to buy this book. LOL

Camy Tang said...

Thanks, Dineen and Victoria! I'm using 45 MASTER CHARACTERS right now, and I bought STORY STRUCTURE ARCHITECT.