Valerie J Mikles


I’m a PhD astronomer with a passion for writing and creative arts. While I enjoyed traveling to telescopes around the world as a black hole hunter, I have since returned home to Maryland where I work on weather satellites for NOAA. When not writing, I can be found at the community theater, acting, choreographing, or stage managing. I’ve also written and produced a series of short films about asexuality, inspired by my own journey of self-discovery. I’m a regular attendee at science fiction conventions and enjoy cosplay. My fandoms include Firefly, Stargate, and Star Trek, and anything that allows me to make another blue dress. My motto in life is that I can be everything I want, just not all at the same time.

Smashwords Interview

What was your inspiration for this book series?
I was sitting at work one day. When I was an undergrad, I got a job as a research assistant, because there was no way I was going to grad school to become a full time scientist if I couldn’t handle doing it ten hours a week. My boss had a picture in his office – a satellite composite of North America at night – just the city glow. That picture was next to my computer and I looked at it every day as my programs were processing data. One day, I opened a text file and started to write a story about someone on the moon, looking down at the Earth, seeing that view that the picture captured. That’s where it all began. When I graduated, my boss gave me a copy of that picture, and it still hangs over my desk.
Ultimately, you did go to grad school and got a PhD in Astronomy. How did you get into that?
In the second grade, maybe third, we had an astronomy unit, and the teacher told us to learn as much as we could, because astronomy was not part of the science curriculum after that year. And I felt so cheated, because I loved space. It really stood out to me in the years after, how the biology/chemistry/physics trio got more and more focus and every other branch of science was phased out. So in the eighth grade, I did a research project about the Life of Stars, and that’s when I discovered black holes, and I thought they were the coolest thing—dead stars collapsing under the weight of their own gravity into tiny, tiny dimensions. Then I found out someone would actually pay me to do that, and so I became a black hole hunter.
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Where to find Valerie J Mikles online


This member has not published any books.