Valerie Francis is a best-selling indie author, story editor, and creative entrepreneur. After 20+ years in various writing-related careers, she published her first novel (a middle grade fantasy) in 2015. Upon hearing that J.K.Rowling sold 1,500 books her first year, Valerie set out to match that sales goal and, as a complete novice to the industry, hit her target in eight months. Her children’s and women’s fiction novels currently sell in over 10 countries (and counting).

Stories are an integral part of our world. We tell them to our children at bedtime, to ourselves when we set or avoid goals and to our employers during job interviews. From Icarus (the danger of flying too high, and the even greater danger of flying too low) to Charlie Brown (the importance of persistence), stories teach us about what it means to be human.

We need them, to learn and to grow. 

Because of this, Valerie’s dedication to literacy and the craft of storytelling borders on obsessive. She brings this passion with her when she helps elementary schools foster a love of reading in their students, and when she works with authors to develop their novels. 

Valerie named her company Fifth Hammer Books, a reference to the myth of Pythagoras and the blacksmith’s shop, because she believes that the most beautiful art is made, and the most important work is done, when the rules aren’t followed. The fifth hammer is a reminder that the best ideas, like the best stories, work precisely because there is tension.