Val Hillsdon-Hutton was raised in Northern England and worked in Uganda during the early 1970’s. Idi Amin took power in 1971 and she met him twice, mainly because he was originally from close to where she lived in NW Uganda’s West Nile District, and on occasion would command ex-patriates to meet with him in groups for propaganda reasons. During her time there she helped secretly smuggle Asians across the border to The Congo (now Zaire) following Amin’s 1972 declaration that all Uganda Asian minorities should leave the country.
When her job assignment ended she accepted a teaching job at a London College and two years later accepted a temporary teaching and consulting position in California for one year. She has remained in the United States and taught writing courses at a Junior College. Following a move to Vancouver in Washington State she worked in the mental health field and resided with her lifetime partner Lynn.
Val retired in 2006. She is a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, where she has served as a Vestry (Board) member and a past member of the church’s Safety Team Ministry. She also enjoys gardening with a particular interest in succulents.
She has expertise in the Lugbara language and has a good knowledge of Uganda’s geography and cultures, making her a good source for this novel, especially as the main character, Kate Wagner’s, geographical knowledge and linguistic skills match!
In the year 2000, Val published Whisper of Protest via xLibris and under the author name of Valerie Spencer, a novel which was also set in Uganda with the same main character and in a similar setting.
Val hopes that her readers will identify with the possibilities the main character presents and enjoy new insights