I was editor of my elementary school paper
(believe it or not, Mrs. Little's fifth grade class at Glenmoor
Elementary did have one); my high school paper (along with
my best high school bud, Cindy Jorgenson); and my college paper,
where our long-suffering typesetter finally forced me to learn how
to typeset because my articles were usually late (and thus I probably
have him to thank for all the desktop publishing jobs that ensued
over the years).
Won a couple of random awards along the way: the Bank of America
English Award in High School (which basically just amounted to a
fancy plaque saying that I was really, really good at English);
and an award for best Sports Feature article in a College Newspaper
(and anyone who knows me well understands how deeply ironic that
is). I began my academic career as a Journalism major; I switched
to Creative Writing, which was a more comfortable fit for my freewheeling
imagination and overdeveloped sense of whimsy. I dreamed of being
But most of us, I think, tend to take for
granted the things that come easily to us. I loved writing and all
indications were that I was pretty good at it, but I, thank
you very much, wanted to be a rock star. Which
turned out to be ever-so-slightly harder to do than writing. A lot
more equipment was involved, that's for sure. Heavy things, with
knobs. It also involved late nights, fetid, graffiti-sprayed practice
rooms, gorgeous flakey boys, bizarre gigs, in-fightingwhat's
not to love?
But my dream of being a published writer
never faded. When the charm (ahem) of playing to four people in
a tiny club at midnight on a Wednesday finally wore thin, however,
I realized I could incorporate all the best things about being in
a band namely, drama, passion, and men with unruly hair
into novels, while at the same time indulging my love of history
So I wrote The
Runaway Duke, sent it to a literary agent (see the story here),
who sold it to Warner Books
a few months after that...which made 2003 one of the most extraordinary,
head-spinning years I've ever had. I'm now with Avon books, and
I've just launched my new Pennyroyal
Green historical romance series.
Why romance? Well, like most voracious
readers, I read across many genres, but I've been an avid romance
reader since I got in trouble for sneaking a Rosemary Rogers novel
out of my mom's nightstand drawer (I think it was Sweet Savage
Love). Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Laurie McBain...I
cut my romance teeth on those ladies. And in general, I take a visceral
sort of pleasure in creating a hero and a heroine, putting them
through their emotional paces, and watching their relationship develop
on the page. And of course, there's much to be said for the happy
And why Regency Historicals?
Well, for starters, I think we can blame Jane Austen. Her inimitable
wit, compassion and vision brought the Regency vividly to life for
generations of readers. If Jane Austen had written romances about
Incas, for instance, I think, we'd have racks and racks of Inca
romances in bookstores all over the country.
But I'm a history FREAK, in general. I read more history, to be
perfectly honest, than fiction (when I have time to read!) these
days. When we were little, my sister and I used to play "Little
House on the Prairie"we religiously adhered to the "schedule"
outlined in the books, making mud pies on baking day and pretending
to milk our long-suffering malamute, Shadow, when it was time to
milk the cows.
If you've made it this far and you're dying to know more JAL trivia,
in this section you can visit the Julie
Answers Questions About Julie page to read some decidedly
unique FAQs and check out a few interviews with me, find out where
to meet me, or peruse my truly
random photo gallery.