Valerie Ipson, our Summer 2020 Writer in Residence, is an author of children, teen and adult fiction. She was a contributing writer and genealogy columnist for a regional newspaper until retiring after 17 years to write fiction fulltime. Currently she is finishing production on two picture books.

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You’ve probably heard this statistic, or one similar: 80% of the population says they want to write a book. Even with the advent of Print-on-Demand and its inherent ease of publishing, though, most of that percentage doesn’t do it.

The truth is, writing AND FINISHING a book takes a lot of effort. It takes discipline and persistence. You know, all those words that at the end of the day feel like work. But writing a book is also thrilling and freeing, and often magical—even if you’re not writing the next Harry Potter. If you have the desire and the drive, and the ability to carve out some time, you can do it!

Maybe you have been like me and stared at all those library or bookstore shelves, row after row of published authors, published books, and wondered, “Who am I that I think I can do that?”The secret of getting ahead is getting started Mark Twain

I was inspired years ago by a picture book writer, I don’t recall his name, who shared this exact experience. He found himself in the library one day feeling small among the vastness of all the authors’ books on display. “Who am I? Who am I? seemed to echo down the rows. But then a new thought, “They did it. WHY NOT ME?”

I’ve never forgotten that and it’s a sentiment that moves me forward. I’m here to tell you: There is space for you on the virtual shelf, and maybe even a library or bookstore shelf. WHY NOT YOU?

I am pleased and honored to serve in this writer residency at the Apache Junction Public Library. I am available for free consultations on writing and publishing topics.