Free Samplers (All ebook formats available)
Chosen One: The Heroine’s Journey of Katniss, Elsa, Tris, Bella, and Rey Smashwords. March 2016.
Amazon: Paperback, kindle and audiobooks
Bookshop has all the paperbacks stocked. Support your indie dealers.
Smashwords: All the independently published ebooks, available in ALL ebook formats
Authorgraph: Get your kindle books signed for free
Signed paperbacks direct from the author: available on ebay auction in the holiday season or email with your request. For a discounted cover price plus $5 shipping, she’ll be happy to sign something, personalize it, and mail it directly.
The Villain’s Journey: Unmasking the Beasts, Bullies, & Dark Lords Onscreen, McFarland, Sept 2021
Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy through 1945: Immigrants in the Golden Age, Lexington Press, June 2021
Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey, McFarland, Fall 2020.
Songbirds, Snakes, & Sacrifice: Collins’ Prequel References and Philosophies Explained. LitCrit Press, June 2020.
Hunting for Meaning in The Mandalorian: An Unauthorized Guide to Homages, Symbols and Backstory. LitCrit Press, Feb 2020.
Turning Darkness to Light: She-Ra: The Classic, the Reboot, and the Heroine’s Journey LitCrit Press, August 2019.
Hamilton’s Women: Revolutionary Heroines of the Musical Phenomenon. LitCrit Press, July 2019.
Artists Onscreen: Painters, Sketchers and Sculptors’ Depictions in Television and Film, LitCrit Press, April 2019.
Inside the Captain Marvel Film: The Comics, the Symbols, the Feminism…and Easter Eggs Too, LitCrit Press, April 2019.
The Secrets Solved: Unraveling the Mysteries of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. LitCrit Press, Jan 2019
Star Wars Meets the Eras of Feminism. Lexington Press, November 2018
The Women of Orphan Black: Faces of the Feminist Spectrum. McFarland, Spring 2018.
Women in Doctor Who: Damsels, Feminists and Monsters. McFarland, Spring 2018.
Orphan Black and the Heroine’s Journey: Symbols, Depth Psychology, and the Feminist Epic. LitCrit Press, Aug 2017.
Red, Blue, and Bronze: Inside the Symbols of the Wonder Woman Film. LitCrit Press, July 2017.
The English Teacher’s Guide to the Hamilton Musical: Symbols, Allegory, Metafiction, and Clever Language. LitCrit Press, Jul 4, 2017.
Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television McFarland and Co. March 2017.
Xena Goes to Camp: On Feminism, Anachronism, and Subversion LitCrit Press, Dec 2016.
Xena and the Heroine’s Journey: Symbols, Archetypes, and Deeper Meaning LitCrit Press, Dec 2016.
Who Tells Your Story?: History, Pop Culture, and Hidden Meanings in the Musical Phenomenon Hamilton. LitCrit Press, Dec 2016.
Harry Potter and Myth: The Legends behind Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts, and all the Hero’s Journeys LitCrit Press, Sept 2016.
Shadowhunters and Myths: Discovering the Legends behind The Mortal Instruments. Thought Catalog. March 2016.
Sci-Fi Fantasy Baby Names for the Twenty-First Century: Anime, Authors, Actors, Dark Lords, Disney Princesses, Myth, Magic, Mayhem, Superheroes, Scientists, and Everything Else LitCrit Press. Nov 2015.
The Essential Castle: Plots, Characters, Episodes and Novels from the ABC Detective Show. LitCrit Press. Sept 2015.
Castle Loves Fandom: Celebrating the Detective Show’s Quips, Homages, and Meta-Salutes LitCrit Press. Sept 2015.
The Mythology of Game of Thrones. Thought Catalog. Summer 2015.
Scots, Sassenachs, and Spankings: Feminism and Gender Roles in Outlander. LitCrit Press. May 2015.
The Avengers Face Their Dark Sides: Mastering the Myth-Making behind the Marvel Superheroes LitCrit Press.April 2015
Empowered: The Symbolism, Feminism, and Superheroism of Wonder Woman. LitCrit Press.April 2015
Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned from Joss Whedon Thought Catalog. March 2015.
The Catch-Up Guide to Doctor Who LitCrit Press. Dec 2014
History, Homages and the Highlands: An Outlander Guide. LitCrit Press. Nov 2014
Pop Culture in the Whedonverse: All the References in Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Doctor Horrible, In Your Eyes, Comics and More LitCrit Press. June 2014.
Joss Whedon’s Names: The Deeper Meanings behind Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Doctor Horrible, In Your Eyes, Comics and More LitCrit Press. May 2014.
How Game of Thrones Will End: The History, Politics, and Pop Culture Driving the Show to its Finish Thought CatalogMay 2014.
Symbols in Game of Thrones: The Deeper Meanings of Animals, Colors, Seasons, Food, and Much More LitCrit Press. April 2014
Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance McFarland. April 2014
Sherlock: Every Canon Reference You May Have Missed in BBC’s Series 1-3 LitCrit Press. Jan 2014
Choosing to Be Insurgent or Allegiant: Symbols, Themes, and Analysis of the Divergent Trilogy LitCrit Press. Dec 2013.
Doctor Who – The What, Where, and How: A Fannish Guide to the TARDIS-Sized Pop Culture Jam LitCrit Press. Nov 2013
Doctor Who and the Hero’s Journey: The Doctor and Companions as Chosen Ones Thought Catalog. Nov 2013
Bloodsuckers on the Bayou: The Myths, Symbols, and Tales Behind HBO’s True Blood LitCrit Press. July 2013.
Myth and Motifs of The Mortal Instruments Zossima Press. July 2013.
The Girl’s Guide to the Heroine’s Journey Spero Press. July 2013.
Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones, Thought Catalog. May 2013.
Winning the Game of Thrones: The Host of Characters and their Agendas LitCrit Press. May 2013
How to Ace the SAT Essay: A Skilled Tutor Teaches the SAT Writing Test. Smashwords. 2012.
Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey, McFarland. 2012.
From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend, McFarland. 2010.
Jews in Popular Science Fiction: Marginalized in the Mainstream. Lexington, 2022.
Fan Phenomena: Harry Potter. Intellect Books, June 2019.
Uncertain Destinies: Speculative Fiction from Silicon Valley. LitCrit Press. Aug 2018.
Self Promo Stories: Authors’ Boldest, Cleverest & Wackiest Strategies to Sell their Books. Smashwords. Nov 2016. FREE FROM SMASHWORDS.
Outlander’s Sassenachs: Essays on Gender, Race, Orientation and the Other in the Novels and Television Series McFarland and Co. June 2016.
After the Avengers: From Joss Whedon’s Hottest, Newest Franchises to the Future of the Whedonverse. PopMatters. November 2015.
Parodies and Original Humor
Chelm for the Holidays. Kar-Ben, Fall 2019.
Murder Most Steampunk: or the Case of the Calamari Conundrum, LitCrit Press, Mar 2019.
Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage, July 2008.
Regular articles for Pop Off and Legendary Women at https://medium.com/@valeriefrankel Other articles to Cosgrrrl and Geek Culture.
“Why Do Villains Insist on a Ring? Greed and Fetishism from Sauron to Spike.” Journal of Tolkien Research. vol. 10, no. 1, 2020.
“Cripples, Bastards, Broken Things…and Villainesses: Game of Thrones’ Final Season.” Coreopsis: A Journal of Myth and Theatre. Fall 2019.
“Taking Over the Whole Library.” Conventionally Speaking Book One: For the Love of the Con. Sally L. Gage and Leisa A. Clark, Editors. Mystical HodgePodge, 2019.
“Hercules, Xena and Genre: The Methodology Behind the Mashup” The New Peplum: Essays on Sword and Sandal Films and Television Programs Since the 1990s. McFarland, 2017.
“Witches live among us!” The Minorities Battle Prejudice in Fantastic Beasts” The Story that Lived: Convergence Culture, Fandom, and the Expanded Harry Potter Universe. McFarland, 2017.
“Battling Bluebeard, Fighting for Hope: The Heroine’s Journey.” Jessica Jones: Essays on the First Season. McFarland, 2017.
“Seeking Safe Haven: Shelter and Self-Protection from Afterlife to Avengers: Age of Ultron.” At Home in the Whedonverse: Essays on Domestic Place, Space, and Life. McFarland, June 2017.
“Eyes Front, Ivan!” The Comic Books’ Journey through Fashions and Men.” Marvel’s Black Widow from Spy to Superhero: Essays on an Avenger with a Very Specific Skill Set McFarland, Mar 2017.
“Cheeky Heroines, Girls in Refrigerators, Wit, and Slapstick: Much Ado’s Place in the Whedon Canon.” Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books and More: The Essential Guide to the Whedonverse. (Revised and Update Edition). Pop Matters and Titan Books, 2015.
“Sidekicks or Heroines? Lana, Lois, Kara, and Chloe” Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters. McFarland 2014.
“Silence in the Archives: The Magic of Libraries” The Language of Doctor Who: From Shakespeare to Alien Tongues (Science Fiction Television) by Jason Barr and Camille D. G. Mustachio Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.
“What Happened to Alice” Inhabited by Stories: Critical Essays on Tales Retold. Cambridge Scholars Publishing Nov 2012
“Two Boy Heroes (and a Sparkly Vampire) Teach the SAT” Teaching with Harry Potter: Essays on Classroom Wizardry from Elementary School to College. McFarland. 2013.
“Reflections in a Plastic Mirror.” Of Bread, Blood and the Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy). McFarland and Co. 2012.
“Why Don’t More Girls Carry Swords? The Heroine’s Journey,” “Are There Faeries Outside Western Europe? Exploring Fey Folklore from Around the World” “Fairytales Retold in Books, Movies, and More.” Sirens: Strong Women in Fantasy: Collected Papers 2009–2011 (table of contents here).
“The Double-Sided Wardrobe: The Hero’s and Heroine’s Journey Through Narnia” Doors in the Air: C. S. Lewis and the Imaginative World, PortalEditions.
“Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, and Captain Jack Harkness: More than just a Hero’s Journey” & “Gwen’s Evil Stepmother: Concerning Gloves and Magic Slippers” Illuminating Torchwood: Essays on Narrative, Character and Sexuality in the BBC Series (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy), edited by Andrew Ireland, Bournemouth University. McFarland & Company, April 2009.
“Reinventing Eve: Bible and Myth Reborn in Harry Potter and His Dark Materials”: New Myth vol. 1: The Society for New Language Study, Midwestern State University 2009.
“Harry Potter and the Rise of Nazism,” Racialized Narratives in Children’s Literature, Washington State University, 2010.
“Why Don’t More Girls Carry Swords? The Heroine’s Journey,” Presented at Sirens: An Academic Conference on Women in Fantasy Literature, Vail, Colorado, October 1-4, 2009.
“The Real Hallows: Sex Secrets, Arthurian Artifacts, and Death’s Dominion,” Presented at Azkatraz 2009: A Harry Potter Symposium, San Francisco, CA, 2009.
“Reinventing Eve: Bible and Myth Reborn in Harry Potter and His Dark Materials,” International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts 30, 2009, Orlando, Florida.
“Cordial and Pigtails: The Heroine’s Journey in Modern Media,” Presented at 2008 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Convention, Reno, Nevada, 2008.
“Harry Potter and the Redefinition of the Hero’s Journey,” Presented at Portus 2008: A Harry Potter Symposium, Dallas, Texas, 2008.
“The Horcrux of the Matter: External Souls in Folk Tales,” Presented at Prophecy 2007: From Hero to Legend: The Annual Harry Potter Conference, Toronto, 2007.
“Gilgamesh” Foliate Oak. Feb 2007.
“Gilgamesh” Rosebud Magazine. Spring 2005.
“The Wedding Day” Lodestar Quarterly. Spring 2005.
“What Do Genies Wish For?” Beyond Centauri. October 2004.
“Gilgamesh” The Writers Publishing. June 2004.
“Mermaid Tale” Twilight Times. April 2004.
“Star Child” Scifantastic. March 2003.
“Jhara’s Tale” Success by Design. March 2003.
“Mermaid Tale” Aoife’s Kiss. January 2003.
“Tough Alliances” The Kings of the Night. December 2003.
“Real Affection” Wondrous Web Worlds 4. December 2003.
“A Thief in Need” In the Outposts of Beyond. June 2003.
“Real Affection” Portals June 2003
“Tea and Company” Legends of the Pendragon. August 2002.
“Gilgamesh” Surfacing. June 2001.
“Gilgamesh” Seele (the UC Davis Literary Journal). May 2000.
“Mermaid Tale” Spellbound Magazine, Fall 2000
“To Be Verbs and How Not to Use Them” 2004 Creative Writing/Creative Teaching: Pedagogy Papers. March 2004.
“The Untapped Market” Orchard Valley Review. November 2003.
“A Jewish Journey Through Toledo” Jewish Community News of Greater San Jose. March 2001.
National Best Books Awards 2007, Henry Potty and the Pet Rock was an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Children’s Novelty & Gift Books” category. Awarded by USA Book News.
Henry Potty and the Pet Rock nominated for Preditors & Editors TM Readers’ Poll Jan 2006.
“Henry Potty and the Pet Rock” excerpt. Phelan Award 2004 First Prize for humor.
“Tea and Company.” Nominated for 2003 Origin Awards.
Julliet Marillier’s website—Review of the Month Award. June 2002.
“Gilgamesh.” Olympiad of the Arts 2000 Honorable Mention.
Promoting your book: https://www.academia.edu/25517365/Promoting_Your_Book
“The Heroine’s Journey” Area: Mythology in Contemporary Culture. Presented at The Popular Culture Association National Conference. San Antonio, TX, 2011.
“Exploring Narnia: The Hero’s and Heroine’s Journey in Concert.” Presented at The 41st Annual Mythopoeic Conference. Dallas, TX. 2010.
“But I am the Chosen One: Buffy and Harry.” Presented at Infinitus 2010: A Harry Potter Symposium. Orlando, FL 2010
“From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Quest.” Presented at The Bay Area Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. Santa Clara, CA. 2010
“Forever Cycling: The Heroine’s Journey in Nature” Presented at Women and Mythology 2010: The Association for the Study of Women in Mythology. Bangor, PA. 2010.
“Why Don’t More Girls Carry Swords?” Presented at Sirens: Strong Women in Fantasy, Denver, CO, 2009.
“The Mythology of Discworld” and “The Hero’s and Heroine’s Journey” Presented at The Discworld Convention Sept 4-7, 2009 Tempe, AZ www.nadwcon.org
“Draco’s Difficult Decision” Presented at Azkatraz 2009: A Harry Potter Symposium, San Francisco, CA, 2009.
“Harry Potter and the Rise of Nazism” Presented at Azkatraz 2009: A Harry Potter Symposium, San Francisco, CA, 2009.
“The Real Hallows: Sex Secrets, Arthurian Artifacts, and Death’s Dominion” Presented at Azkatraz 2009: A Harry Potter Symposium, San Francisco, CA, 2009. Related Materials
“Reinventing Eve: Bible and Myth Reborn in Harry Potter and His Dark Materials” International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts 30, March 18-21, 2009, Orlando, Florida.
“Cordial and Pigtails: The Heroine’s Journey in Modern Media” Presented at 2008 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Convention, Reno, Nevada, 2008.
“Harry Potter and the Redefinition of the Hero’s Journey.” Presented at Portus 2008: A Harry Potter Symposium. July 10-13th, 2008 in Dallas, Texas.
“Chakram and Pigtails: The Heroine’s Journey in Modern Media.” Presented at the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, 2006.
“Snatching the Ring from his Finger: The Heroine’s Mythic Journey” Presented at the 41st Annual Comparative Literature Conference, CSU Long Beach, 2006.
“To Be Verbs and How Not to Use Them” Presented at the 2004 Annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference, Chicago, IL 2004.
“Pillars of Strength: Exploring the Male and Female Archetypes” Presented at the 30th Annual World Fantasy Convention, Tempe, AZ 2004.
Read my review of Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation in Sun Oasis. May 2005.
Henry Potty and the Pet Rock. Wingspan Press 2006.
My review of Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation in Sun Oasis. May 2005.
Official Website of author Valerie Estelle Frankel: Original children’s novels, short stories, and so much more. Valerie has written nearly thirty books of deeper analysis of the symbols, themes, gender issues and hidden insights within everyone’s favorite series: Sherlock, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, Mandalorian, Star Wars, Outlander, Bridgerton, She-Ra, Xena, Buffy and more. Explore the heroines’ journey and heroes’ journey and Villain’s Journey and archetypes in her book From Girl to Goddess. Harry Potter Parody in ebook and paperback. Journey to the magical world of Calithwain, with amazingly detailed interactive maps for all ages. SAT and English tutoring in the San Francisco Bay Area. ELL trouble-spots, vocabulary games and sample essay prompts. Recommended reading lists of easy classics, reading help, writing tips, book recommendations, reviews, fairy tale resources, fantasy & writing links and everything else you can imagine.
Research Interests: Jewish Science Fiction