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Guest Blog: Why I Write by Val Bruech

Val Bruech
Val Bruech

Jan's is excited to introduce you to our guest blogger, Val Bruech.  Val will be visiting Jan's this Saturday, May 13th, from 11am to 2pm for a book signing with her first book, Judicious Murder.  We hope you'll stop by and say hi!


By Val Bruech


I write:

because It’s so much fun to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and make the words, form the language that bring the reader to experience the joy and pain, the dark and the light of the characters in the book:

to find out what happens next:

because I want to kidnap the reader, if only for the twenty minutes or hour they give me, into the world I’ve created, and for them to love the experience:

because once in a while I have something to say:

because a magnet is pulling me to the blank page even when I think I don’t have anything to say:

because some days it’s like pulling weeds: I can’t not do it:

because my characters woke me up screaming “Get out of bed and write me! I’m doing this today!”

Some days I don’t write.

Parts of Judicious Murder were written when I was a very busy criminal defense lawyer. In the course of a typical day, if I was not on trial, I might handle a couple dozen arraignments, interview two or three clients in the jail, do a few preliminary hearings and have some pre-trial settlement conferences with the State. As an advocate, I was always pitching my client’s virtues and story, and I was listening to other people’s stories: victims, police officers, witnesses. My head was full of stories of cause and effect, human motivations (usually not honorable ones), concealment and betrayal. When I was able to take time off and put the pieces together and develop my voice, the book finally took shape. What a great adventure!


Val grew up in Chicago where she rode her bike to the library to check out mysteries.  After law school, the opportunity to practice criminal defense gave her first-hand experience with wrongful verdicts, pathological liars and unsolved homicides. All of these themes are woven together in her novel, Judicious Murder. In the course of representing the unjustly accused for more than twenty years in Oregon and Illinois, she learned that the true story often originates from the darkest chamber of the soul.

When she’s not writing she’s biking around Portland, Oregon, hiking in the Columbia River Gorge or swimming. Fur, the feline in Judicious Murder, is modeled after Izzy. At the shelter, Izzy had a red “x” on her cage which meant it was to be her last day on the planet. That was sixteen years ago. She and Val have lived happily together since.

Valerie’s been published in Oregon Coast Magazine and took first place in the Portland Japanese Garden writing contest. She’s a member of Willamette Writers where she served as secretary for two years, Friends of Mystery and Oregon Writers Colony. Judicious Murder was recently named a runner-up for the Spotted Owl Award from Friends of Mystery.


About the author