About the Author

Author Photo: Christopher ValenAlthough I have traveled widely, I have primarily lived in and around the Twin Cities. I played a variety of sports growing up and was a junior Golden Gloves champion and an all-state and college baseball player. I also attained the rank of brown belt in Tae Kwon Do.

I got interested in reading as a child when a cousin gave me his old collection of Hardy Boys mysteries. I took a journalism course in high school and debated whether to major in journalism or teaching in college. I finally settled on teaching and acquired a B.A. in English, an M.A. in special education and an educational administration license. I worked with juvenile delinquents and as a teacher and principal before becoming a college professor.  

I continued to read a wide variety of both non-fiction and fiction though I really enjoyed mysteries. John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee was a favorite. Later, I began reading the Spenser novels by Robert B. Parker. 

I really didn’t get serious about writing until I took a course from Will Weaver, author of A Gravestone Made of Wheat, which was made into the very successful Hollywood movie, Sweet Land. I’ve published both non-fiction and fiction, but White Tombs is my first novel.

When I met and married my wife, Martha, I began traveling to Mexico and to Colombia where she was born and raised. The seeds of the novel grew out of her stories and experiences.

In doing research for White Tombs, I spent time with members of the St. Paul Police Department and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department. I eventually enrolled and graduated from the Citizen’s Academy at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department. When I’m not writing, teaching or traveling, I enjoy skiing, sailing and practicing my Spanish.