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My Story

Short Bio

Valerie is an English and History teacher. Originally from Sydney, she now lives in sunny Brisbane, Australia with her husband and daughter. She writes historical women’s fiction with romantic elements. Valerie completed a Master of Letters in Creative Writing in 2021. In 2022 she published an anthology of short stories to introduce her work to readers. Her work has been featured in Queensland Writer’s Centre Right Left Write and My Story, My Voice anthologies. She has short stories featured in Romance Writers of Australia Sweet Treats collections. Valerie is studying Italian to connect with her cultural heritage and to enjoy Italian movies without the subtitles. You will always find a novel and notebook filled with ideas and observations tucked away in her handbag.

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The start of my writing journey ...

I started writing stories in primary school. Creating little books with prose on one side and coloured, hand-drawn illustrations on the other. My mother tells me that before I could read, I would look at the illustrations in picture books and make up my own story. Throughout primary school and into high school I continued to write stories, using my imagination to create a fictional world of parties, boyfriends, fancy jobs and travel. All the things I wasn’t allowed, or not old enough to do. I lived vicariously through my stories. I loved writing in my diary and have journalled on and off throughout my life. When blogging became popular, I started to blog. Then I got married, trained to be a teacher and became a mother and, although I continued to write in my journal and blog, my creative writing took a back seat. 

 

This all changed when we moved from Sydney to Brisbane at the end of 2016.

On the journey ...

I made two decisions when 2017 swung around: to live a balanced life and to reignite my love of writing stories. 

 

In October 2021, I completed my Master of Letters in Creative Writing at Central Queensland University. As part of my dissertation, I have written a romantic, historical, magical realism novella about belonging, love and self-discovery, called The Secret Me. I'm currently revising this story into a full-length novel.

 

My first novel, a historical women’s fiction, There’s Something About Olivia Bennet is completedThe story is about 24-year-old Olivia who lives above a bookshop in an inner suburb in Sydney. A steamer trunk belonging to her late mother arrives unexpectedly. It contains items that ignite her curiosity and may reveal who her father is. What she uncovers are deep secrets her mother kept hidden from her. Life gets more complicated when she meets Sebastian, the new Year 4 teacher at the local primary school. Olivia discovers that some secrets are not always easy to reveal. I'm hoping to find a publisher for There’s Something About You, Olivia Bennet. If it doesn't find a home, I'll indie publish the book. I truly believe it's a wonderful story. One that will pull a few heartstrings.

I’ve started drafting my second novel under the mentorship of Australian author Kate Forsyth. This will story also be a dual historical timeline story set in 1943 Brisbane/Britain and Contemporary Brisbane. 

My Short Story Anthology, Everything in Between: Stories of Family, Loss and Love was published in April 2022. In July 2023, my short story, "The Uniform" was included in the My Story, My Voice anthology, produced by the Queensland Writer's Centre.

In 2023, I signed with literary agent Fiona Smith from Beyond Words Literary Agency. 

I'm an advocate for Australian stories and for the Australian narrative voice to find its place within our global village.

Feel free to follow me on Social Media or Goodreads

Associations and Memberships

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The goal is to be published. 

To hold my books in my hand. 

To share my stories. 

To continue to grow as a writer and to develop my craft. 

To write with passion.

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My destination ...
A snapshot of my life ...

I live in Brisbane with my husband and daughter. My writing companions are my dog Mischa and my cats Daisy and Miss Lilly. I am a teacher by day and a writer in the spaces of time in between. I love blue skies, butterflies and the smell of lavender. My favourite moment is to curl up with a book, sipping peppermint tea with honey. I prefer to ride my bike when running errands and I love authentic Italian gelato and I try hard not to eat too much chocolate. 

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