#24 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Vivian Scott

Today’s interview is with Vivian Scott and let me tell you, she’s  no dumb-dumb! In fact, she wrote one of those books “for dummies”…you know you’ve read one or two or three. wink wink

Many of my readers from the ‘blog world’ have desires to write a book. Personally, I think they should. I’d buy a book from many of them. I have very witty readers. 😉

What keeps us from getting started? Intimidation? Small fish in a big pond syndrome? Not having a clue where to start? Fear of rejection?

Vivian takes us on her journey from being told she should write a book all the way to seeing it on the shelves of a bookstore! If you want to be the author of your own tale or just need a little extra motivation achieving something on your bucket list, read along and take some notes then get started…


Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one  ”kicks the bucket.”


Melody: Introduce yourself to us, Vivian…

Vivian: I’m 53, live in Snohomish, WA with my partner of 12 years, Brent, and am the mother of a grown daughter, Vanessa, who is in her last semester of law school.  I retired from a great (but really fast-paced and stress-filled!) career in high-tech marketing in 1999.  I went back to school, got a Liberal Arts Degree with an emphasis in American Studies and loved focusing on something that wasn’t business related.  I have a private mediation practice that allows me to help people through some of the most difficult times in their lives.  How lucky am I?

Melody: You do sound pretty lucky! I’ll admit, I’m a tad jealous that you live in the beautiful state of Washington. I love the Pacific Northwest!

Tell us what you’ve checked off your bucket list.

Vivian: Saw a book I’ve written on bookstore shelves.

Melody: How exciting! I’d fall on the ground if I saw a book of mine on the shelf of a bookstore! Tell us about how all this started for you.

Vivian: For the past 15 years I’ve kept up with an annual girls-only vacation to Scottsdale, AZ with my daughter, one of my four sisters, and her daughter.  When we realized about five years ago that we were on our 10th year my sister started saying I should write a book.  I began taking notes and thought I would write about our experiences, what we’ve learned from our annual excursions, what we still hoped to learn, and maybe throw in a few embarrassing stories just to make it more entertaining.  Little did I know that that wouldn’t be the book I’d write at all.  Still, it started as a somewhat silly joke and began to take shape as something I was “going to do one of these days”, ending up on my bucket list.

Melody: Where did the passion for writing your book come from?

Vivian: Writing a book about resolving conflict became important to me about two years ago.  I wanted to find a way to let as many people as possible know about the great things I’ve learned regarding solving problems and because I have a strong marketing background I knew I’d have to do something more than tell one person and ask them to “pass it on.”  In my past life I’ve created seminars and brochures and how-to guides and just thought a book would be a natural next step.  I also felt strongly that it had to be approachable, easy-to-understand, and give the reader practical advice.  It became clear to me that it had to be something like the “For Dummies” books.

Melody: OK, it’s confession time. Tell us if you ever felt like giving up.

Vivian: Absolutely!  My first clue that it might not work was when I went to the “Dummies” website and realized they don’t take ideas and they prefer to work with literary agents.  I didn’t have an agent, didn’t really want one, so I made a case in an email for a book on mediation and resolving conflict.  I actually was thrilled to hear back right away, but then months and months passed.  I just kept plugging along and would occasionally dip my toe back in the water.  The contract negotiations were scary (which included submitting a table of contents and a sample chapter!) and when the writing process began I wondered if there was enough to fill up an entire book, but apparently that wasn’t something I had to worry about because at the end we had to do a lot of cutting – ha!

Melody: What kept you going?

Vivian: It’s just what I do.  My reputation is really important to me and I want people to know they can count on me to do what I say.  That doesn’t mean I’ve never quit anything or had to re-work a previous agreement.  There’s no shame in admitting maybe what you thought you wanted isn’t what you wanted at all, so I gave myself permission to back out if it wasn’t going to be the right fit.  But, once the contract was signed, I just felt “a deal’s a deal.”  Plus, I really, really believe in the topic and I just knew that there were going to be people I would never meet or hear from whose situations would improve because of something they read in the book; even if it was one small thing that changed for the better because of one small phrase or sentence, my efforts would be worth it.

Melody: What advice do you have for people striving to reach their goals?

Vivian: Oh, that’s easy!  Put one foot in front of the other.  Pretty simple, but time goes by whether you’re working towards goals or not.  So you may as well be working towards something that matters to you.  I told my niece the other day that Marketing 101 is “throw everything out there and sees what sticks” and Marketing 102 is “don’t be afraid to hit the ‘send’ button.”  I think that advice works for creating and achieving goals, too.  If I had been afraid to send an email to Wiley Publishing, I wouldn’t be a published author.  Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from doing something.  It really is a numbers game; toss it out there!

Melody: I love your advice! I believe that many of us fear putting ourselves ‘out there’ because of the fear of rejection. Who cares? Just go for it!

What are some other things on your bucket list you hope to accomplish?

Vivian: Besides the obvious things like see my daughter, Vanessa, walk down the aisle, watch grandchildren grow, keep my relationship with Brent healthy and happy, and be significant to someone?   I’m achieving the next item on the list by touring New England on a fall colors tour with all of my sisters.  And, just to make sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously, my niece, daughter, and I came up with a goal to be on Family Feud.  Watch for us! 🙂

Melody: Can I come along? That sounds like a fantastically fun time!

Leave us with your favorite inspirational quote…

Vivian: Oh, gosh, that changes every day.  I used a quote by Francois de La Rochefoucauld in the intro section of “Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies” that says,

“Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.”

The quote on my Facebook page says,

“There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good ” – Storypeople.com

I suppose, though, the quote that inspires me the most is “I love you, Mama” by Vanessa Scott-Thorson

Melody: Ahhhh yes, I have to say that the quotes from my daughter inspire me the most, too! So sweet!

Vivian, thank you so much for allowing us to hear your story. Your fearlessness and dedication to reaching the goal of seeing your book sold on shelves is inspiring!

You can learn more about Vivian’s book by going to amazon.comdummies.com, or any online bookseller!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley


  1. KellieS said

    I’ve been so inspired by your story, Vivian. I am going to add “seeing my book(s) on the bookstore shelf” one of my goals. I wrote the book, now it needs to get published. Oh, and I love the fact that you want to go on Family Feud! I have a totally shy family (most of them) who would wouldn’t do that. I’d have to order out for replacements…

    Mel, thanks for sharing Vivian’s story with us…you rock!

    Be well,


  2. dategirl said

    Vivian you’re amazing! I’m one of the readers Melody mentioned that would love to one day write a book. I’m not sure what is stopping me. You’re an inspiration!

  3. And with that for inspiration, I’m off to hit ‘send’ on a query for a magazine article. Wish me luck!

  4. Crystal said

    oh that is so awesome! I love those books, I’ve skimmed through quite a few of those and even purchased a couple 🙂
    What an inspiration she is. Love her quote, that is so cute.

  5. Wow, what a thought provoking and insightful post for today. Thanks, Melody, great interview and nice to meet Vivian Scott.

  6. Roni Marie said

    Thank you Vivian…I really enjoyed reading your story…how rewarding it must feel to help resolve all of those conflicts~!

  7. Andrea said

    Writing a book seems like such a huge feat. Vivian makes it sound so easy! I love her quotes, all of them.

  8. Kristin said

    To see your book published…that has got to be SO exciting!

  9. I loved this interview! It would be the most amazing thing in the world if I ever see a book I’ve written on the shelf. I would love to write a humor book about motherhood someday…

    I guess I’ll just have to wait and see where this journey takes me!

  10. Roz Rucker said

    Great story! Viv I am so proud of you!

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