Valerie Comer has always loved to read and write. An early memory is of an attic bedroom, lying side-by-side with her big sister on their tummies while Sis taught her to read out of Dick and Jane. Though that particular primer left little to wonder about, the spark was ignited. Childhood favorite books included Heidi, The Five Little Peppers, and many others such as The Borrowers.
She tried her hand at writing stories as a child, but they never got past a few pages. What did she, a child growing up in northern Manitoba, know of things such as horses and sailboats? Certainly not enough to write stories about them! And so she mostly read. She read every book in the cupboard at the back of her classroom; the three-room rural school did not even have an entire room for a library, nor did any nearby town. And she asked for books whenever anyone wondered what kind of gift she’d like.
Even though she enjoyed creative writing classes in high school (and in Bible College), somehow the thought that ordinary people could be writers did not click for many more years. In the late 1980s she signed up for a correspondence course through the Institute for Children’s Literature. While it taught her many things, it still wasn’t the right time…or the right focus.
In 2001 she got a job with a small-town flooring retailer. Interior design being a passion of hers, Valerie thrived on helping clients pull together the total look of their homes. But what to do with all the spare time she found herself with at work? Even her bosses agreed that there was only so much dusting an employee could do. Her mind drifted back to that half-formed dream of writing novels. If there ever was a perfect time to put this dream to the test, this was it.
And so she began to write and learn the craft of writing. She read books about writing and tried to apply them to her own first novel. She discovered websites devoted to writers and learned as much as a sponge could soak up water. She wrote more books.
By 2010, Valerie had written eight novels, some of which were even deemed worthy of second and third drafts. She’d begun to tighten up the stories and enter contests. The opening scenes of Majai’s Fury garnered her a finalist position in the 2007 Genesis Contest. She revised the novel further based on critiques and comments by the judges. Then she entered it in a private contest by author Tosca Lee and won first place. In 2008 Off Beat placed third in the speculative division of Genesis. In 2009, the revised version of Majai’s Fury was a finalist in Genesis.
In 2011 she sold a contemporary inspirational romance novella to Barbour Books and landed an agent.