Victorya Rouse was born in Red Wing, Minnesota. She began her teaching career as Peace Corps Volunteer in Eswatini, Africa. Living and traveling in southern Africa she realized that access to education was the key to self-determination. This inspired her to become an English as a Second Language teacher. Currently, she teaches English to high school aged refugees and immigrants in Spokane, Washington and is an adjunct professor for Whitworth University in Spokane, teaching courses on Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. The stories of her students inspired her to write her first published book, Finding Refuge: Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young People.
Victorya also serves on the board of directors for Refugee Connections of Spokane, an organization that serves refugee and immigrant communities and advocates for refugee and immigrant rights. She lives in Cheney, Washington with her husband of 35+ years.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I was a horse-crazy child (who has grown to be a horse crazy adult), I loved Misty of Chincoteague, the Black Stallion series… but my favorite was C.S. Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy. The idea of a talking horse who was the guardian of a boy really captured my imagination. It is the best if the Narnia books!
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“You need to know that it seemed like a good idea, a reasonable action, to the person who did it.” -Chief Inspector Gamache/ Louise Penny
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
JRR Tolkien, Tony Hillerman, Louise Penny… though this sometimes changes!
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I never really truly thought I would be a published author, but I have always loved telling stories and drawing. I was compelled to write Finding Refuge because these stories needed to be told.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Keep writing. Keep drawing.