Valerie O. Patterson was raised in the Florida panhandle where the Gulf of Mexico inspired a love of blue and a fascination with the horizon and what lies beyond. Valerie received an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University, where she twice received the Shirley Henn Award for Creative Scholarship. She has also received a Work-in-Progress grant from the Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators (SCBWI). In addition to SCBWI, she is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Children's Book Guild of Wasington, D.C., and the Authors Guild. Her first novel THE OTHER SIDE OF BLUE was a finalist for an Agatha Award. Her second novel OPERATION OLEANDER was a Junior Library Guild selection for 2013 as well as a VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers for 2013. Valerie lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband where she currently serves as co-Regional Advisor for the Mid-Atlantic region of SCBWI.