From her earliest memories, Julie was a why-asker and a story-lover, fascinated by dogs, horses, and nature, and drawn to stories about them. But what held her fascination most was human nature: What are we? Why are we? How different are we, really, from other living things?
She grew up in a magical town called Washington Grove, Maryland, where trees were so revered that roads curved around them. They even grew through the porch roofs of the town’s tiny Victorian-era cottages. She loved to wander outside of the town to a nearby cluster of tall oaks and poplars, her woods, and spend hours lost in imagination.
At the age of seven, Julie wrote a story about a bunch of dogs who became pirates and went to sea. The town magazine published it, and from that moment on, she vowed to become a writer. Her parents found this cute. But as she approached her eighteenth birthday and still wanted to write, its cuteness had worn off. “Forget this writing stuff,” her dad told her, “Get your head out of the clouds and do something practical.”
She had no idea what that meant, but during her first semester at college, she took a class in a subject called anthropology and fell in love with it: “A whole science devoted to the stuff I’ve always wondered about!” She put a lid on her writing, majored in anthropology, and prepared for a career in ethnographic research. But the writing kept leaking out.
Years later, her mom called. “I’ve got some boxes of your things. Can you come pick them up?” She brought home two massive cartons, opened them, and discovered they were stuffed with writing: journals and notebooks, brown paper bags and yellow envelopes, paper placemats and drawing pads filled with stories, poems, lists, dreams, ideas, and sketches. The writing had never really stopped.
Soon afterward, Julie moved to Los Angeles and began working as a freelance story analyst for film production companies. One of these also housed a literary agency. They hired her to ghost-write books for their clients. When her kids were born, she brought them home to Maryland and began teaching.
Over the years of raising kids and paying bills, Julie kept thinking, Next year, I’ll have the time to write, or maybe the year after that. Her kids grew up and moved out on their own. Then a pandemic came along and forced everyone into lockdown. At last, she could lose herself in stories for hours on end. She wrote a novel inspired by a dream about a woman, a mountain, and three wells and sent it to a highly regarded publisher named Regal House, who agreed to turn it into a book.
Nearly fifty years later, although she may not look it on the outside, she’s still that seven-year-old who questioned everything, devoured books, lost herself in imagination, and scribbled stories on scraps of paper.
Regal House Publishing is proud to bring you Julie’s novel Long Man’s Pillow in the summer of 2024.