Screenwriting instructor Valerie Brandy has just published her first novel! Valerie says, “I’ve spent the last decade writing screenplays. I’ve also spent the last decade harnessing my inner strength– my inner animal. This book is the result of both those journeys. Animals We Are is my first novel. It’s a feminist thriller that examines what it means to claim the most basic, instinctual part of one’s self. Women so often are taught to make other people comfortable, to push aside parts of ourselves that aren’t “pretty.” The book argues that this piece of the soul is a divine gift that allows us to protect ourselves, to never settle for unhealthy situations, and to protect the ones we love. My hope is that this book helps other women reclaim their fangs.”

Of her teaching experience with the Writers’ Program, she says, “Working at UCLA Extension has given me the opportunity to see first-hand how creativity is so innate. Extension students come from different professional backgrounds, and have different life experiences, but they’re all there because they feel the pull to be creative. It’s very rewarding to guide students on their journeys, and help them find their unique point of view. I also love sharing an in-depth look at the true life of a screenwriter. In the level one class, it’s fun to share a bit about the process. Many students are shocked at how much thought, perfectionism, rewriting, and structure goes into creating a script, and have said they’ll never watch a movie the same way again.”

Congratulations, Valerie! If you have a success story, we want to hear about it! Click here.

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