Valerie Laws has forensic knowledge of pathology, anatomy, neuroscience, cadavers, and the science of dying. She has worked closely with pathologists, neuroscientists, anatomists, human specimens and dissections in her ongoing seven-year series of science-institute-funded residencies for Wellcome Trust, Gordon Pathology Museum London, Kings College London Anatomy Department, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Health (brain ageing/dementia) and Institute of Neuroscience, and in Egypt, all following her experience of witnessing deaths of family members. She also has a residency at a Physic Garden run by pathologists, growing mind-altering (including poisonous) plants. Her crime novels reflect her forensic interests, having medical and/or surgical themes.
Before turning to crime, she was already established as a successful award-winning poet, performer, playwright (12 plays commissioned for BBC Radio and Stage), science writer, comedy novelist, sci-art installation specialist (her work has been exhibited world-wide, alongside artists such as Degas, Renoir and Henry Moore) and more : her 12 published books cover a variety of genres including best-selling language books. A physicist and mathematician, her sci-art installations include her infamous QUANTUM SHEEP, celebrating quantum theory by spray-painting haiku onto live sheep. She has also been commissioned by BBC2 TV She performs cabaret-style performances of erotic, humorous poetry as well as crime fiction and pathology poetry readings worldwide, live at festivals and events and in the media including BBC TV and Radio 4.
Her first crime novel THE ROTTING SPOT, endorsed by Ann Cleeves and Val McDermid, was shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize, a ‘Read Regional’ Choice and a Northern Promise Award winner. Her second (and twelfth book), THE OPERATOR, endorsed by Alex Marwood and Ann Cleeves, was published in February 2014 in paperback, already out on Kindle. She lives on her native Northumberland coast.
Wellcome Trust Arts Award, Northern Promise Award, Northern Writers Award, New Writing North Read Regional Award, short-listed for McKitterick Prize.