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Karmanos team member takes writing career to the next level with first novel

Valerie Wade, director, Grants Administration

After years of hard work, Valerie Wade, director, Grants Administration, Karmanos Cancer Institute, associate director, Research Administration, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University (WSU), has officially become a published author with her debut novel, “Ivy Lee’s Rue.”

This novel follows Ivy Lee, a young woman from North Carolina, as she holds onto hope and adapts to her new life with challenging mental health conditions. Wade said her inspiration for this character came from an imaginative writing class she attended at WSU in 2010. Originally titled “Leaving Jacksonville,” Wade noted that Ivy was initially supposed to be a minor character in the book, but as the story developed, Ivy soon became the main protagonist of the story, representing and paying tribute to the unforeseen circumstances of those struggling with mental health challenges.

Though writing has been a passion of Wade’s since she was a teenager, she credits joining writer’s groups like Motown Writers and watching her peers transition to self-publishing authors — so she set the goal of accomplishing the same. Those around her gave her the confidence that publishing one of her pieces could be a reality. She also gives credit to her family, who she said has inspired her and nudged her throughout the ebbs and flows of writing a novel.

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