Victoria Golden


Victoria Golden is a former public relations writer, editor, and book reviewer, and she is the author of Independent Photography with Robert Foothorap and The Readers' Choice: 200 Book Club Favorites. The latter was the first book to feature titles based on recommendations from multiple reading groups. She lives with her husband in the northern California wine country.

Victoria's interest in writing was spurred by her father, a Broadway playwright and Hollywood screenwriter turned public relations and marketing executive. However, while he turned from creative writing to public relations, she began her professional life with public relations and found her way to books.

Victoria's newest book, A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains, seems the natural outcome of her several years as a volunteer in a group home for foster youth. In writing the life story of William Walters, who was sent West as little more than a toddler on an American Orphan Train in 1930, Victoria was reminded of the many modern-day children who've lost their birth families. For William, the fateful train ride away from home marked the beginning of an extraordinary trajectory through nine decades of U.S. and world history.

Smashwords Interview

How did you meet William Walters and how long did it take for him to tell you his entire story?
After the death of his wife of 65 years, William attended a hospice grief group also attended by a friend of mine who'd lost her husband. My friend was thunderstruck by the stories from his own life that William shared with the group, and she urged me to discuss with him the idea of recording his adventures. William and I met weekly over a period of four years while I typed out tales spanning his nine decades and he answered my many questions. It was the experience of a lifetime, being submerged in another person's life this deeply. So much of William's story was dramatic and fascinating. He was a compelling teacher as he provided background information about the times he lived through, so I learned far more than I'd previously known about the American Orphan Trains, Boys Town, hobos on the road and rails during the Great Depression, World War II special ops in the Pacific, and boom times in postwar America. And through it all emerged a delightful, unexpected love story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the feeling of being transported into another world. While writing I am so thoroughly focused that everything else disappears. An hour or two or three may have gone by when I look up from the screen to find that the clock has speeded ahead. Part of the pleasure comes from the satisfaction of putting together words so that they communicate well; this feels like solving a puzzle.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Victoria Golden online

Where to buy in print


A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains, A Memoir
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 114,470. Language: English. Published: July 11, 2018 by Orphan Books. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » Biography » Adventurers & explorers
Homeless at age four, he found an extraordinary path through nine decades of U.S. history.

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