In no particular order:
1. I was granted an interview for a Marvel Comics internship based on a "Punisher" story I wrote and sent in. But I was turned down because I was only 12 years old. I thought my career in comics was over and cried into my pillow. And so the saga began.
2. Some of the characters depicted in the semi-biographical Bob Fingerman series "Minimum Wage" were people I hung out with when I was a teenager. (However, I never actually met Bob.)
3. I once had dinner with comedian Eddie Izzard and his entourage but didn't appreciate it at the time because I didn't know who he was.
4. The Steve Winwood song "Valerie" was not inspired by me.
5. When I was in England I sat through an entire production of a Shakspeare play with Prince Charles sitting directly in back of me. Some people had come up to me during the intermission to tell me the Prince was behind me but I thought they were pulling my leg because I was a stupid tourist.
6. My mom named me after actress Valerie Harper because she was watching the TV show "Rhoda" while she was pregnant with me, and thought that it would be cool if I grew up to be like the character. Which means I suppose I should wear headscarves
7. When I was 14, I announced to my mother that I would become a professional philosopher when I grew up. She convinced me to become a paralegal instead.
8. My great-grandmother was a medicine woman in Brazil.
9. The Monkees song "Valeri" was also not inspired by me, but in certain quiet moments when nobody is looking I like to pretend that it was.
10. I'm the distant relative of boxing great Rocky Marciano.