Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, CT. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer.
After her divorce, she spread her wings, relocating to Boston and then Seattle. When she retired, she resettled in her home state to be near her two grown children and granddaughter.
She’s a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com, and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.
What’s Not Said is her debut novel; check out BookTrib’s review here and our interview with Valerie here. The sequel, What’s Not True, will be published in the fall of 2021.
Biggest literary influences:
While drafting my book, I finally read Jane Eyre, which totally consumed me. To know that Charlotte Bronte had to write under a pen name in order to be published in the mid 1800s and here I am publishing my book, in my name, through She Writes Press — an all-female imprint — is mind-blowing. We’ve come so far, but it’s taken way too long.
Last book read:
This is a hard question. I read three to four books a month for reviews and book clubs. The last book I’ve read for pure pleasure would be Freedom Lessons, by Eileen Harrison Sanchez. An eye-opening story of what it was like to live in the South in the sixties when folks were grappling with how to handle forced integration.
The book that changed your life:
I wish I could say there was one book that changed my life, but I can’t! I would say that books themselves are my greatest companions. As I’ve moved interstate three times in the last fourteen years, I’ve tried to downsize. When it comes to packing my books, I’ve been known to evoke Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books.” And even though I donated hundreds along the way, I see my bookshelves swelling again.
Some of my favorite companions are Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Jon Meacham, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Kristin Hannah, Malcolm Gladwell and Erik Larson. A little bit of everything there, eh?
Your favorite literary character:
My favorite character is Jane Eyre, of course. I relate to Jane’s individualism and feministic nature, as well as her strength in emerging from an unhappy childhood.
Currently working on:
I have three projects underway. First, I’m finalizing the manuscript of What’s Not True, which is the sequel to What’s Not Said. The second project is, naturally, the third book in this series. I’m noodling ideas at this point.
Lastly, I’m writing a biography entitled One That Rises Above, about a Turkish woman who came to the U.S. in the late 1950s to make a life and raise a family with a man she’d married on a handshake.
Words to live by:
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton
Advice for aspiring authors:
Don’t believe it when you hear you need to publish your first book by age 40. It’s never too late to write and publish your story. Today, traditional publishing isn’t the only option. And once the first book is in the can, write the next and the next.
“What’s Not Said is oh-so-clever at illustrating the unintended consequences of secrets. Valerie Taylor’s characters face a tangle of events and emotions that keep the reader turning pages!”
—Joan Cohen, author of Land of Last Chances
“Wonderfully entertaining! You’ll find yourself rooting for the main character from the beginning as she finds herself divided by mixed loyalties and her own desires. Taylor has written a sharp-witted and fun story, so grab a seat, buckle in and enjoy!”
—Marianne Lile, author of Stepmother, a memoir