Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: Vanity Fair, MTV, The Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more.
Valerie holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and is currently based in California with her husband where she reads loads of books, binge-watches Netflix, and drinks tons of coffee. Hollywood Witch Hunter is her debut novel.
Books: For anything book related please contact my agent Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary
Journalism: I am currently closed to journalism pitches at this time. Feel free to Tweet me @valerietejeda with any questions!
Hometown: I was born in North Hollywood and spent my childhood and early teen years in Burbank, California, and finished high school in the Sacramento area. So I’m a California girl, born and raised. The only plave I’ve lived in outside of California has been Maui — which I loved.
Birthday Month: November
Favorite Food: Any type of Quesadilla with guacamole. Also, cupcakes, and french fries. Oh, and coffee, if that counts.
Favorite Season: Fall. (No contest!)
Favorite Holiday: Halloween.
Favorite Colors: Black and white, especially together.
Favorite Hobbies: Music, reading, and ancestry research. I know “ancestry research” doesn’t sound too exciting, but I’m obsessed with history and learning not only about my roots, but the roots of others. I have Mexican-Jewish heritage on my dad’s side and mostly Spanish-Moroccan on my mom’s. I’ve taken multiple DNA tests for fun (I know, I’m a geek) and have been working on my family tree (still in progress) and have collected birth, marriage and citizen records from family from Jalisco, Mexico, the Canary Islands, Casablanca, Morocco, etc. It’s been amazing to learn more about my family’s story!
Favorite Book: If I had to choose one, I would have to go with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Also, Harry Potter, The Infernal Devices, and Nancy Drew will always have a special place in my heart.
Favorite Movie: Anything directed by Christopher Nolan.
Behind The Name: Valerie means “strong and determined,” and my last name Tejeda (pronounced teh-HEY-duh) is of Spanish origin and it means, “yew tree.” Tejeda is also the name of a village where some of my ancestors lived many years ago, and is located on the Canary Islands — a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa.
Any phobias? Germs. Hands down. I can deal with heights, darkness, planes, small spaces, sharks. . .whatever! But sneeze on me, and my whole world comes crumbling down. And bugs that carry disease (aka mosquitos and ticks) are my worst nightmare.
Is Hollywood Witch Hunter your first book? Yes! Hollywood Witch Hunter is not only the first book of mine to be traditionally published, but it is also the first book I’ve ever written. The idea came to be after I had a dream Marilyn Monroe was killed by a witch and I created the entire satirical, urban fantasy plot from there. I did have other ideas of stories I wanted to write prior to HWH, but none of those ever made it past a few pages.
If I wasn’t a writer. . . I would be a spy. But more realistically, I would probably utilize my Psych degree and be a psychologist. Or, I’d be a genealogist and put my obsession with DNA research to good use.
Favorite thing about being a writer. . . For me, it’s the ability to tell someone else’s story. Whether I’m working on a journalist piece, or crafting up a fictional character, I love to shine the light on other people and give them a voice. That to me, is the best part about being a writer.