Get to Know Val

As a kid, I loved everything about words, books, and libraries. I adored the sounds of words and couldn’t wait for the weekly spelling list. I always had a book in my hands and made countless trips to my local library. My favorite librarian, Mrs. Reisinger, taught me the Dewey Decimal system.

My local library was in the small town where I grew up with my sister and two brothers. My mom was the “just try it” woman who let us get dirty making mud pies and read us picture books at bedtime. My dad was the fearless guy who took us out after dark to hunt night crawlers and showed us how to bait a fishing hook.

While I originally intended to be a princess and an astronaut, I also wanted to be a writer and a teacher. So I went to college and earned degrees in English and education.

In the classroom, I taught writing and research skills to high school and college students. I worked in and received writing awards within the world of business and public relations, too.

An SCBWI member, I have gained extensive knowledge from two focused mentorships, specialty picture book writing courses, and online writing community involvement. I also participate in several active critique groups.

Val’s guiding purpose is to create picture books that:

  • Are fun to hear and read
  • Create a sense of play  and imagination
  • Foster a child’s individualism and self-expression