For Julia’s official bio for media/press, click on ABOUT ME. Below is the more personal side of her.
Sandwiched between an older sister and a younger brother, Julia was quiet and shy as a child and not athletic. She loved learning and often escaped into the world of books. This school photo was taken when she was about nine years old, three years before her parents discovered she was nearsighted and got glasses for her. She was amazed at how many details of the world she had missed.
When Julia’s 7th grade English teacher assigned the class to write a novel, she couldn’t wait to start. Each week, everyone read their latest chapter out loud to the class. She doesn’t remember the title of her novel, but her protagonist was named Jenny, and she called her little brother “the Kevin-brat.”
Jenny was always dealing with problems, many of them stemming from the Kevin-brat. Julia’s story quickly became the most popular in the class, and each time she stood to read about Jenny’s latest predicament, her shyness faded away and her courage grew. Her dream to be a writer was born.
However, her audience disappeared when the course was over, and she put her dream on the way-back burner. She kept reading, and most enjoyed stories set in the 1800s. She loved The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, Gone With The Wind, David Copperfield, Pride and Prejudice, and A Wrinkle in Time (her one science-fiction exception). Each Christmas, at her mother’s request, Julia marked the books she wanted in the Cokesbury Book Catalog.
Julia took French in high school, and after graduating one year early at age seventeen, she went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She took courses in 19th-century Russian Literature and The English Novel and continued to study French. Her goal was to become fluent, so she applied for UNC’s junior-year-abroad in France.
It was a new program offered to a handful of students, most of them French majors; all courses would be taught in French. Julia was accepted although she had chosen a more practical major, Economics. She took the required courses for her major during summers and as a senior, but in France, she studied French literature and history.
After college, Julia got her first “Real Job” in Dallas in a downtown bank, and married her college sweetheart and the love of her life; she had found The One. After a few years, they had their first two children, twin boys. Julia’s favorite thing to do was read to them, especially Dr. Seuss books and fairy tales. Five years later, she had another boy and then a girl, and she kept buying books and reading to them, eventually finding time of her own to read. She discovered Ferrol Sams, Peter Mayle, John Kennedy Toole, Tom Wolfe, Maeve Binchy, and Nicholas Sparks, among many others. She wondered how these authors came up with their characters, how they tied a story together, and what it was about their books that made her feel sad to arrive at the last page.
When her children began growing up and moving out of the house, Julia considered her childhood dream to become a writer. So, she sat down at her computer, faced a blank screen and began. Soon she had scenes, chapters and whole sections written. Ten months later, she finished the rough draft of her first novel. After a zillion revisions (with feedback from her writers critique group and a few very insightful readers), she finished MAKE THAT DEUX.
It’s the story of Jenny (although not the same one from 7th grade), a college junior, who spends a year in France in the 1970s. Memories of Julia’s experience as an exchange student in France at a time when a new world of adventure and romance opened up to her served as inspiration for Jenny’s story in MAKE THAT DEUX.
Julia’s second novel is a psychological suspense entitled UNDERWATER and is set in Atlanta in 2010. It’s the story of Candace Morgan, a successful businesswoman who gets conned by her devious brother into funding a luxury home he promises to redo. When the housing market drops, the family plunges into a downward spiral of deceit and violence. UNDERWATER was published on Nov. 25, 2014 by Thomas & Mercer, the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense imprint of Amazon Publishing in Seattle. Look for it on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and audio versions. The German translation, titled UNTER WASSER, was released on Feb. 24, 2015 by Amazon Publishing’s imprint AmazonCrossing.
Julia’s third book is a work of creative non-fiction, an account of her emotional struggle as her youngest son battled brain cancer. ALL THE ABOVE was released on March 25, 2015, and for most of the time since, it has remained on the Top 20 Best Seller List for Kindle books on Cancer. Julia’s third novel, DADDY’S GIRL, published on April 20, 2016, is another suspense set in Atlanta. It’s about a spoiled, entitled princess who risks it all to join a technology startup, loses it all, and then embarks on a mission of revenge and retribution.
When not writing, Julia practices her French, helps organize and attends events hosted by the Atlanta Toulouse Sister Cities Committee, attends meetings of the Atlanta chapter of Sisters in Crime, and appears at literary festivals and book signings. She adores France, loves books, and enjoys watching football and going to the movies.