About Val, the author

La Gaude

A view from the terrace at La Gaude, a featured setting in No Commitments

Occupation:  Beach bum, Writer

Current location:  Naples, Florida

Some of my favorites: 

Singers:  Hank, Holly, Patsy, Piaf, Ray (I Say),  Dylan (pre-1967) and The Boss

Books:  Catcher in the Rye, The Prophet, We the Living, Still Life with Woodpecker, By-Line: Ernest Hemingway

 Movies:  Casablanca (whose isn’t), A Summer Place, Top Gun, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause  (I wore levis, a white tee shirt, and a red jacket with the collar turned up to school everyday for six months after I saw that movie!)


  1. Name on my birth certificate is Clay LaValle Sharp, Jr.
  2. I often receive mail addressed to Ms. Val Sharp.
  3. I delight in confusing airlines, immigration, banks, credit card companies, brokerage firms, and DMVs with variations of my name.
  4. I wear boxers; not briefs.
  5. I like vodka martinis, scotch and soda, and white wine.
  6. I don’t like to cook.
  7. I worship sun, surf, salt water and endless beaches.
  8. I love the sound of hard tropical rain at night on a flat tin roof.
  9. I don’t like ice and snow.
  10. I’m a night person. Never shower in the morning.
  11. I’m loyal to one sports team: St. Louis Cardinals.
  12. I like my own space…and corn dogs with mustard.
  13. I like road houses and honky tonks.
  14. I also like ballet.
  15. I never learned to drive a car with an automatic transmission.
  16. I was last person in my business to have a computer.
  17. I’ve never been officially arrested. But I’ve seen the inside of a cell a couple of times.
  18. I graduated from Annapolis. I don’t know how or why.
  19. I’d like to challenge John McCain to an “over the wall” contest.
  20. I love being flat on my back, upside down in an aerobatic glider.
  21. I quit discussing and debating religion when I was 19.
  22. I loved my sweet, gentle shepherd, Riva. She went to sleep in November, 2013.
  23. I’ve been married forever…and ever…and ever.
  24. I love my wife, Christina. But a warning to all: half-French, half-Swiss German is a combustible mixture.
  25. I’m most proud of my progeny: daughter and son raising 5 beautiful granddaughters!

29 thoughts on “About Val, the author

  1. I attended a few of the reunions but seemed to miss the couple that you attended. Perhaps we can hook up and share lies sometime before the bus stops.
    I look forward to reading your book.
    I do not read many current novels these days. I have been busy with, jack London, Dickens, Dumas, Hemingway, H.G. Wells and others that i missed out on when younger.
    I was an Ayn Rand follower back in the 60’s. Atlas Shrugged is still one of my favorites.

    • Ray: Somehow I did not see your comment from last Monday until today. Thanks for buying the book and I hope you like it enough to comment. Remember,
      it is all fiction.

      I was also a big Ayn Rand fan. If you notice on my web, one of my favorite books was “We The Living”, by Ayn. I named my
      daughter, Kira, after the heroine of that novel.

      Yes, we should try to hook up sometime. –VS

  2. Greetings from HOT Tulsa, hello Val everytime I think back to my time living and working in Washington DC in 1960; I always remimber catching up with you for a few drinks at some upstairs bar on some side street…as an old saying goes, long time no see. Will look forward to enjoying your book, wishing you great success with it, and GO Cardinals. Best regards/DannyD

    • Thanks Danny. I do hope youy enjoy it. And some of the scenes may seem vaguely familiar. There is more than one Washington imbibing scene, and a little bit of down home. VS

  3. I don’t know if you rememberme, probably not, but went to school with you. I know that is vague, but had a crush on you many years ago. I look forward to reading your book.

  4. I remember a slim, blonde-haired, dapper kid who played on one of Dad’s football teams…a few years ahead of me…a kid the girls all swooned over.. The fellow in this picture has put on a few pounds, and could play a lineman position now. I’ll wander into your book soon. Thanks.

    • Rocky,

      Yes, I certainly remember your Dad. Basketball and football. You might find some interesting scenes in the book about a
      high school football team in Missouri. 59 game winnning streak before they lost. Nice to hear from you.–VS

  5. Don Sarno’s sister here. He’d be in awe of your credentials. Keep the faith, brother. Best to you after all these years.

  6. Wow! Good to know where you are and what you are doing….Where is Ellen Sarno? Used to remember her married name while in Tennessee.

  7. Val, are you the same Sharp who once owned the Chevy dealership in Sikeston? I live near San Francisco now, but grew up in Sikeston and my family bought cars from that dealership.

    • Yes. It was my father and his brother. San Fran is a beautiful area, but you might find a couple of interesting chapters in “No Commitments” about a town called Creekwood that could sound very much like Sikeston.

  8. Val- absolutely loved the book: the emotion, friendship between lovers, evocative descriptions of locales, financial intrigue.

    And, really, corn dogs with mustard, honky tonks, beaches, no religion… Yep. White wine, yes, please.

    Love to Chris. Great book, our friend!

  9. Hi Val, Harry posted about your book which I ordered, read and enjoyed. It was good to know where you are and how you are doing. Mom would have been excited. Thanks for an enjoyable read, recognized several people, places and events. Nancy

  10. Val, you probably don’t remember me since you were a couple of years ahead of me at SHS but back in the early 50s, we were teammates on the Lions little league championship team. Being one of the new rookies and playing with guys 3 or even 4 years older, I didn’t get a lot of playing time but I remember my first start: It was at second base the night you were on the mound. I was nervous enough but got even moreso as the game progressed since you were in the process of throwing a no-hitter. I was scared to death that somehow I would mess that up for you but I was able to handle the few chances that came my way and I think I even got a hit or two as you pitched a perfect game.

    My grandkids are always asking what I want for Christmas and this year, your book is at the top of the list. I look forward to reading it next month.

    Steve Wissman

    P.S. During your Annapolis and Vietnam days, did you ever run across a couple of Navy pilots by the names of Ron Schowalter or Jim Suckow? Ron would have been at the Academy at about your time and both he and Jim were in Nam.

    • Hi Steve,

      I hope you like my book.

      Yes, I do remember the old Lions when we were champs. Unfortunately, as I got older I couldn’t control a curve and the bigger
      guys could tee off on my fast ball, which wasn’t fast enough.

      I did not know your pilot friends. It was a big navy.
      Where are you living now?



  11. Hi, Val…. My wife and I are living in a Kansas City suburb where we’ve been for the past 30 years. As an old Bulldog and AF fighter jock wannabe, I look forward to your read. BTW, I happen to have a picture of that ’52 Lions team that I’d email to you if your interested.


    • Hi Steve,

      I would love to show the picture to my wife and children.

      By the way, my only niece lives in Kansas city, Betsy (Sharp) Lynch. She is a lawyer and married to the son of Notre Dame All-American linebacker Jim Lynch, all-pro and starter for the KC Super Bowl champs way back when.


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