Val Conrad

Nurse, author, photographer, teacher.


I grew up in the Texas Panhandle, left a number of times, and have come back to my hometown now. My first love was always writing, and I was the editor of The Little Harvester, the high school weekly newspaper for both my junior and senior years. But my senior year I also attended EMT school, starting a long career in a number of facets of medicine. From over two decades as a paramedic to becoming a registered nurse, I have enjoyed not only the technical aspects of medicine, but the heart-to-heart connections with patients throughout the years. 

In my last semester of nursing school, my first book, Blood of Like Souls, was published. Although I worked on that story for more than sixteen years, I continued with the story to the next three books over the next three years.  Both the first and fourth books were named Finalist in the Indie Next Generation Book Awards. I attended the ceremony in New York City in 2011, but I was quite out of my West Texas element in a what I felt was a crowded, dirty, loud city, topped of by my first gallbladder attack. I'm sure the city is not nearly as bad as I remember.

Since then, I have worked at the hospital, then a few years ago took a full-time position with the ADN program at Clarendon College. I love teaching nursing students, just like I did EMTs.  There is no better feeling than seeing students make a mental connection that makes sense to them. Graduation for them has been a special event for me, to have shared in their getting to a new first step.