Valerie D. Wade is the author of the debut novel, Ivy Lee’s Rue and novella Leaving Jacksonville. A lifelong resident of Michigan; currently living in Detroit, but raised in Highland Park. She is an alum of Wayne State University and currently works as a Research Administrator.
Valerie has published poetry, is a volunteer literacy tutor, and currently tutors an ESL student. She has volunteered as a dog walker at the local humane society, and cherished her late beagle, Buttercup, for twelve years. She loves spending time with her adult children and grandchildren, and plans to pursue learning to play drums.
Ivy Lee’s Rue began as an assignment in an Imaginative Writing class while enrolled in her last semester at Wayne State University. The initial assignment was to create an essay based on a random photograph. The journey has taken many turns, shifts, and title changes. It began as a story entitled, Leaving Jacksonville, where Ivy Lee was a minor character, but soon emerged as the protagonist with inspiration from an ancestor’s real-life circumstance. From that, the simple story of Ivy Lee’s Rue was born; a heartwarming coming-of-age narrative of a Christian woman navigating mental health challenges while depicting deep love and sacrifice within a strained sister’s bond.