Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Author Spotlight: Valerie Frankel

Written By: Tracy - Aug• 31•10

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As you can see by my topical motivator, today’s guest author has ties to Potter Fandom. That’s because she is notorious for having written several well-known parodies. The best known of which, Henry Potty and the Pet Rock has won Indie Excellence Award and USA Book News National Best Book Award.


I’m speaking of Valerie Frankel.  This September is a big month for Valerie. Henry Potty and the Pet Rock will be released in a new special edition in which the hero faces sparkly vampires and silly slayers in the Try Wizarding Tournament and then unites all the franchises into the Order of the Takeout in a special edition that will be released this month.  She will also have a nonfiction book released through McFarland books entitled . From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey in Myth & Legend. From Girl to Goddess explores the heroine’s journey and how it differs from the hero’s by examining women’s mythology from all over the world.


Valerie has also had a number of short stories and essays released in anthologies and journals. including Inside Joss’ Dollhouse, The Prisoner and Philosophy, Rosebud Magazine, and The Oklahoma Review. She has spoken at Worldcon and recently at the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando.

Valerie’s own heroine’s journey began in the land of Harry Potter: England.

“My notes on the heroine’s journey and my Harry Potter parodies both date back to the year 2000 when I was living in England, touring castles and getting serious about getting published,” Valerie said.

During the close of the old millennium, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth book in the Harry Potter series had just been released. Valerie became inspired to write both a parody, and her heroine’s journey book.

“There was only one Harry Potter spin-off on Amazon, so there was definitely room for some goofiness. Meanwhile, pop culture fans of all ages were seeing the similarities in Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and more.”

Valerie said that fans of YA literature branded the hero’s journey as the “Chosen One Plot.” These fans bought g essay collections on their teen heroes, as well as  Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler’s groundbreaking works on the hero’s journey.

“I thought those books were the perfect expression of the theory I’d come up with after reading all those wonderful fantasy adventures…or rather, half my theory. Where was the epic heroine, whose journey was so similar to and yet different from the hero’s?” Valerie said. “Dorothy doesn’t get a sword. Lucy’s told not to use her dagger, but she saves the day with her healing potion. Lyra faces the dark lord, only to discover him a withered, useless humbug. Coraline defeats her Other Mother and saves her family. Clearly, the story of the heroine’s journey needed to be told.”

Valerie said that she is working on another book about the hero and heroine’s journey in YA fantasy. Her working title is  The Heroic Journey of Harry Potter, Bella Swan, and Alice in Wonderland.

In addition to writing, Valerie reads a book a day for fun.

“ I like fantasy as epic as possible, though I certainly read classics, YA, and retold fairytales. I think of all the thousands, my favorite is The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier gets a special award for being so lyrically beautiful. And Terry Pratchett deserves many awards just because.”

Valerie has plans to visit several conventions in the Bay Area, including like Corflu, Potlatch, and Westercon. She is also scheduled to appear at Worldcon and World Fantasy Con as well as Wiscon.

You can find more information on Henry Potty and the Pet Rock as well as Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage at

Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey in Myth & Legend  also has its own website at


Obligatory pimpage: My own publisher, Yard Dog Press will be at Dragon*Con this weekend. She will have copies of my book, Bride of Tranquility. BoT is a zany murder mystery set in a haunted hotel during a Renaissance wedding. You know you want to buy it!

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