Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a scholar, educator, and senior leader in higher education who has been teaching and advising students for three decades at elite research universities and liberal arts colleges. My extensive leadership background includes expertise directing first-year experience programs and curricula, leading large departments and academic units, as well as years of experience as an Academic Dean. In my free time I am an avid sailor and gardener.
I approach higher education as an industry with candor and a forthright approach designed to help families, parents, and students get the insight, help, and information they need. I have several guides available:
The Four College Myths: A Cautionary Guide for Parents of First-Year Students examines the four pivotal myths about college that negatively affect students throughout their first-year experience, myths that institutions use to help bolster their enrollment and retention. It provides parents with seven clear and practical strategies for managing these myths and getting accurate, useful information from colleges.
A Student’s Guide to the 5 Essentials of the First-Year Experience in College distills three decades of experience working with students and families to provide high school seniors and college freshmen with the five essentials all students must master in the first year of college in order to succeed academically and personally.
Procrastination in College: Solutions for First-Year Students provides students with an in-depth discussion of the 12 most common causes of procrastination. It gives students the effective solutions they can use throughout their college years.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My guide, Academic Success in College: A Guide for First-Year Students,combines in one book the above two guides. This book is for high school seniors planning to attend college as well as first-year college students at any college or university. Parents will find this book invaluable for understanding the challenges students face in the freshman year of college and will benefit from knowing the solutions that work. I wanted to make both of the shorter guides available to students in one place, a book they can use throughout the first year of college and beyond.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
In terms of writing habits, I structure my books for students and families around distilled essentials, so I create a concise table of contents before I begin writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I read extensively in higher education theory, both developmental and academic, as well as nonfiction books about travel, gardening, and sailing.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a book to help college students prevent and manage high blood sugar in college. This is especially challenging for students who might be on meal plans and not cooking their own food.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use various sites, but I think the quality and expertise of the work should speak for itself.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing and be very self-critical about your work.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Read, read, read and read some more
What are you reading now?
Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom (Monty Don)
What’s next for you as a writer?
Would love to do a gardening book!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609)
A current Atlas (to get off the island)
A survival book on surviving on a desert island
Author Websites and Profiles
Viola Sebastian-Jones Amazon Profile