Interview: Ross Victory, Author of PANORAMA #Interview

Ross Victory is an Award-Winning American author, singer/songwriter, travel geek and author of the father-son memoir, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son (2019) and Panorama: The Missing Chapter (2020). Ross spent his early years collecting pens, notepads and interviewing himself in a tape recorder. With an acute awareness for his young age, Ross was eager to point out hypocrisies and character inconsistencies in children and adults through English assignments. If he weren’t keeping his English teachers on their toes for what he would say or write next, he was processing his world through songwriting and music.



She sang as if this were the last song she would ever sing. Her soul flickered between every note, with presence and awe. Like she was going somewhere and would never return. As the woman sang, she reached into the spotlight that lit her, pulling the light closer to her chest—like she and the light had established a deep state of devotion. As the ahjusshi played the cello, hidden in the woman’s shadow, particles of dust floated through the light and disappeared into the darkness, like floating glowworms. I could not recognize her words but recognized the source of them. This woman must be singing to me... I thought. I fantasized about hope as she sang.

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Panorama: The Missing Chapter is a follow up to my first book Views from the CockpitViews from the Cockpit is a memoir that reflects on a father-son relationship using airplane metaphors to explore broken bonds, divorce, and memories. A lot of men struggle with their father's decisions, so Views was also of service to men who are trying to navigate life with their fathers. I discovered my dad being abused and neglected by his 3rd wife. The abuse was a lot to accept and cope with in the face of a starkly religious home, which taught me that prayer was the answer. Views helped me move past all of that pain into surrender and understanding. Panorama explores spirituality and sexuality as a coupling, using themes of fatherhood and masculinity to expand on topics covered in Views. Panorama explores the idea of "Where do we find love?" Is character or one's gender/political affiliation/race the most critical attribute of a human? In a time of collective chaos (COVID-19) and personal chaos (health, finances, and isolation related to COVID-19), Panorama's theme resonates. My father's abuser illuminated how it is nearly impossible to glean one's character on a surface level. So, the healing journey of my dad's loss opened the door to also heal from past relationship traumas that I feel were explicitly tied to being a bisexual man. When I look out into the landscape, bi men are still underrepresented even though lesbians and gays have elevated into the mainstream.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published under my VFTC Universe label which publishes my books and music.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes, if you cannot afford a publicist or a marketing team, getting the word out about your book is an endless task and comparable to writing the actual manuscript.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Absolutely. The idea of “not judging a book by its cover” is only related to the judgment of people. Readers get intrigued by book covers that are mysterious and evocative and gives them a reason to think or turn the book over to read the description and ultimately buy the book.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Yes, memoir, real life stories are difficult because of the doubt one may feel about their personal story and being so vulnerable with readers who may or may not be interested in your life. My best advice would be to write out what you want to say for yourself, don’t obsess about editing and then hire someone who can fine-tune your themes and ensure what and how you are writing is in alignment with your stated goal.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

Panorama is scheduled for release on Father’s Day 2020, June 21, 2020, so I have been busy promoting it and soliciting reviews. Because I am a music artist and songwriter, I will be finishing up the song that will accompany the book, by the same name—Panorama—and also consider recording an audiobook for Panorama.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Panorama is of service to the millions of bi men, bi women (and people who love us) who feel invisible, misunderstood, or just asked to thrive despite contention related to our identity. The general public may be unaware of the discrimination that occurs from straight and gay people (intentionally and unintentionally) and my purpose is to illuminate that discrimination, which leads some bi folks into isolation and negative mental health outcomes. Through my personal story, Panorama analyzes how oppression is disbursed from straight and LGBT collectives onto bisexual people and how erasure is perpetuated and normalized.

Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I need to tell your readers that they are valid; they are real, their story is not in vain, no matter the trauma, pain, or invisibility they feel. For me, the test was: do I have enough courage to be honest about my story and then use it to empower myself and inspire others. Once I saw how the broken pieces fit back together, I wondered why it took me so long to build something new.

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