On Saturday, March 21
, the College of Educational Studies hosted the renowned author,
at LMdeCU its Downtown Santa Ana bookstore.
The full house event brought in old and young, students and community members, as well as local authors and artists who wanted to listen to the empowering words of this dynamic speaker. Villaseñor, now in his ‘70s, shared his unremitting passion for writing and his relentless muse-which was and is his life.
His new book,
Revenge of a Catholic Schoolboy
, was the main reason for the book signing event, but earlier adult titles of his legendary books also flew off the shelves, as well as his engaging, colorful children’s books. There were numerous requests for his most famous book,
Rain of Gold
, which is going to be available again at the end of March. Rumor has it that a smash hit mini-series might be made out of this riveting book and also
, so be on the lookout for further developments. His influence has broadened into other areas. Through his non-profit,
Snow Goose Global Thanksgiving
Villaseñor seeks to promote peace and harmony in the world. “Scheduled each year for the Sunday before Thanksgiving, it is a day for people to put aside their political, racial, and socio-economic differences and to come together with a sense of community”. Since 1992, people gather to share meals at Rancho Villaseñor in Oceanside, California and several other cities across the globe, with the first starting in Spain. Giving a hopeful message everywhere he speaks, Villaseñor invites us to be more human, help others, give of ourselves and do good things, even on the simplest levels with small deeds.
But, Saturday was about Victor-here and now- telling his captivating stories, not only compelling narratives that interpret his life, but about his views on education, politics, religion, and life in general. He rallied the wall to wall crowd to chant key phrases meant to increase our sense of self and capability. “I am” he had us repeat. “I am a genius!” He insisted that genius doesn’t come from people being told what they can’t do, but rather from them believing that they can do, can be, and will be- with no outside sources putting them down- including teachers in schools. “Give ‘A’s”, he said, admitting that he started believing more in his abilities when a teacher finally gave him a grade of
despite the fact that he had to find his own way of overcoming his disability with dyslexia, which wasn’t diagnosed until he was in his 20s. And perseverance was key, after having received countless rejections of his first novels and stories. Once he was “discovered” by the reading public, the notable literary awards and sequels to his writing continued. That has been a long journey that refuses to end, as this prolific writer continues to craft his life into enthralling words that lure and capture the avid reader, as well as convert a few novices to engage devotedly in reading great literature.