Unlike many authors, I did not experience my love for reading until later in life. I cringed every time a teacher assigned a book report. I would have rather spent my time in six advanced Math classes versus one in English.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that someone turned me on to this whole romance reading thing. You see, I was never a traditional college student. When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in Accounting, so I became a part-time student while working two jobs to make ends meet. That said, it took a while for me to work through the college coursework. First, I obtained an Associate Degree in Accounting from the technical college where I now teach part-time while working my full-time job as the Finance Director for the Wisconsin city in which I live.
After completing the coursework for my Associate Degree, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, and then a Master’s Degree in Business. \The day after I completed the coursework for my Master’s, I came home from work, made dinner, ate, and then looked at my husband and asked, “What exactly do normal people do with their evenings?” I hadn’t really had one of those in a couple of decades, and I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. He looked at me, serious as a heart attack, and said, “Well, there’s this thing called television. I’m about to watch a program now. Try it out.” The show was Boston Legal, and though it was awesome, it wasn’t enough. I spent the next week cleaning every closet in my house before I didn’t know what to do with myself again. I complained to a friend of my dilemma, and her resolution was to hand me a Janet Evanovich novel. I shook my head, declining the book, not wanting to read anything. She shoved the book back at me and demanded I give it a shot. I took it and read it in two nights. I was HOOKED!
I read through everything Evanovich had penned and then moved on to romance authors. I logged more than fifty books in that first year. They were a little easier reading than my Accounting and Finance texts. Then one night, I had a dream about a detective and a kidnapping. The next day I called my friend and told her I was going to email Evanovich with this great idea for a detective story to convince her to write it up. I know, right, like I’d get access to Evanovich. My friend replied, “Or you could get up off your butt and write it yourself.” Hence, the birth of Detective Spinelli and that three-book series.
Truth be told, publishing Spinelli’s story wasn’t exactly that easy, but I got there, and now my bio includes how much I love to read and write. Particularly at my cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where writing outside on the deck can be an adventure. I’ve seen deer, fox, turkeys, and eagles while penning my romantic suspense, contemporary, and time travel romance novels.
I’ve penned more than fifteen novels and novellas. I’ve hit the USA Today Best-selling Books List and have been designated as an Amazon top 100 author in Romantic Suspense, Suspense, and Mystery & Suspense. I’ve been ranked by Amazon as a #1 Bestseller in Military Romance and Love & Romance. Additionally, I have been listed as a Barnes & Noble Bestseller and Kobo Bestseller. Persistence pays. 😊
A funny side note … when I first told my family and friends that I’d written a book, most assumed it was an Accounting text. Little did they know.
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Valerie is represented by NBPR – Nancy Berland Public Relations