Val was born in Manchester to, what would then be regarded, immigrant parents. Her dad was an ‘orangeman’ (protestant) from Glasgow and her mum an Irish Catholic from Lismore, County Waterford. Val grew up in Wythenshawe and went to Manchester Central Grammar School for Girls, now sadly gone.
Val’s early career was in teaching English Literature in schools and universities in the UK, Denmark and the US. As a senior manager in education she went on to address systemic problems in how schools, social services and courts deal with young offenders and children in difficulty. After gaining an MSc from the Sheffield Business School, Val established her own consultancy practice in the City of London focusing on managing change, and personal development for senior managers of large public institutions.
Val’s first book is published this month: Daniel Defoe and the Bank of England, The Dark Arts of Projectors (Zero Publishing). This book is based on her work for a PhD awarded by Warwick Business School in 2013. It argues that a Bank relies as much on the arts of storytelling as a novel, and tells the intriguing tale of the friendship between Daniel Defoe, founder of the modern english novel, and William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England.
She is presently working on a novel based in Manchester in the early nineteenth century when large numbers of Irish settled in Ancoats and Ardwick. She is interested in storytelling as a lifeskill amongst irish immigrants and the influence of this experience on the irish diaspora today. Val is married and has two daughters.