She credits her grandmother for her writing talent. When Valentine was young, her grandmother taught her to recite poetry and express her skill for the written word.
She always considered herself to be opinionated, and when she graduated from college, Valentine met and married a preacher who was as opinionated as she was.
They raised five children and taught them to be creative thinkers, she said.
Glendale News-Press news assistant Ani Amirkhanian sat down with Valentine and asked her a few questions.
How did your teacher help you write your first play?
He had a system of teaching writing, and he taught us to be eavesdroppers. He said listen in on a conversation and develop your characters. You listen and write down what people say. Get to know your characters so you can write about them. I learned to be an eavesdropper.
Give an example of one of the plays you wrote that involved eavesdropping.
One of the plays that I wrote started with a conversation in our house. My aunt came to see us one day. I wrote the play around the idea that a man came with her. He brought ice cream, but her ice box was broken, so the ice cream melted. So they ended up having crackers and cheese. It was called ‘Her Ice Cream Lover.’ It was a one-act play.
Did your two plays get any recognition?
They were staged. I think one of them was used in an annual one-act play contest at the Pasadena Playhouse.
What made you stop writing plays?
I took creative writing courses, and I learned I liked to write creative essays. Writing plays was an earlier experience. I got my writing published in some school publications. I liked writing because I’m a blabbermouth.
Did you and your husband often have a difference of opinion?
He was an authority on pretty much whatever he talked about. He was the brighter of the two of us. So we talked a lot about biblical subjects. He was even more strongly opinionated than I.
We got along great. We agreed on most things. Woman talk didn’t interest him.