How does a young Florida girl who never finished the first grade grow up to become a gifted author, musician, speaker, and teacher? She moves to Australia and back again.
Author Victoria Duerstock, daughter of an Australian mom, lived Down Under for three years. When the first-grader returned to differing school seasons in the states, her accelerated reading capability enabled her to enroll in the second grade and keep moving forward. This meant she attended her high school graduation as a sixteen-year-old class Valedictorian.
“As an only child, my hobbies were literally reading and playing the piano. I have a degree in Piano Performance and a Masters in Music Education. Music is very important to me, and I love teaching when the student is absolutely engaged and willing to put in the work. So teaching social media and working with authors building platform has been a natural outgrowth of my pleasure in teaching.”
Always believing she would write one day—”when the kids were grown and out of the house, and I had ‘free time,'”—her initial break came from writing short devotionals for anthologies with other writers. Her first written proposal was in the nonfiction general market, and then she shifted to writing a clean-read Crime Suspense novel. For six weeks, she spent every evening after teaching and most weekends writing. Finally, in 2018 she received a publishing contract and within thirty days wrote her first stand-alone short devotional book, Heart & Home: Design Basics for Your Soul and Living Space
“Oof! That was tough.”
For those struggling with their first book, she says, “Man I get it. Just keep knocking on doors, listening to what people are telling you is currently happening in the publishing world and look for where you can fit in. Be patient, and build your audience, platform, and writing credits while you wait, then be ready, because when God opens the door, he does it in a big way.”
When asked about her hopes for the future, Victoria said, “I hope to keep writing, publishing, and fulfilling the work that God calls me to do. (I still have a list of another sixteen or seventeen ideas to work through, so I’m going to be busy for a while.) I hope to watch each of my children grow and pursue Jesus with their whole hearts and minds and do the work that God has called them to do. I hope to grow old with my husband and be able to look back at how faithful God has been on our journey and praise him together.”
Victoria and her family currently live in Nesbit, Mississippi which is located just south of Memphis Tennessee, “home of the best BBQ in the world.” She invites you to connect with her on her website, www.victoriaduerstock.com, and her blogs at www.encouragingwomentoday.com and www.everythingsgravy.com.
Her books, including her new release Heart & Home: Design Basics for Your Soul and Living Space,and her upcoming release Heart & Home for Christmas: Celebrating Joy in your Living Space, can be purchased through her Amazon Author page as well as participating retailers found on the Heart & Home books website at http://www.heartandhomebooks.com.
“The grace of Christ fills the chasm created through disagreement. When we love as Jesus loves, we allow grace to fill the spaces when we disagree. Spirit-filled individuals can turn the world upside down with a unified purpose of bringing glory to God.” — Heart & Home: Design Basics for Your Soul and Living Space
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Love learning about Victoria! Looking forward to reading her books.
Thank you, Melissa. I’m happy you enjoyed it. You’ll love her new book. Blessings!
Vicki’s book changes lives and closets! My 18-yr old was feeling down, thinking about all her friends scattering here and there. I suggested we read together Heart and Home, as organization and home are LiLi’s love languages. She was refreshed. More so, when we started working on “that “ closet. Thanks for lifting our hearts spiritually and declutterly!
Renee, thanks for these words of encouragement for Vicki and for stopping by my blog. I pray all goes well for you and Lili.
Love this snapshot of Victoria! Love that I found commonalities – I, too, am hanging on as God opens doors and I walk through them, AND I, too, was a 16-year old high school senior who never completed first grade! Great snapshot! Hope to meet Victoria in person someday!
Amazing. Another prodigy. 😁 God bless you on your journey, Elaine. I’m happy you dropped in. Thanks for the encouragement.