After finishing her B.A. at Loyola Marymount University, Val planned to become the next Meryl Streep, but eventually came to realize she was Sally Hawkins in a Dynasty world. Practicality got Val working behind the camera. She worked in audio on many half hour comedies at a time when few women were doing so. Then, she discovered writing and went at it with a vengeance. Having grown up in a troubled family, Val spent her formative years pretending to be a member of the Enterprise’s crew, Maddie and David’s best friend and a member of the Murph’s team. She’d create stories and scenes in her head endlessly, giving herself bigger parts and imagining ways to save the day. This was the key emotional survival tactic which allowed her to escape her mother’s raging paranoia. As a result, Val developed a deep love for genre TV and women’s stories, drama and comedy. A big life change sent Val back to school for an MFA in Playwriting and Screenwriting from University of California, Riverside. She followed it up by teaching college and at-risk high school kids. School became another muse, inspiring her with stories, conflicts and characters.