As a child I was a terrible daydreamer (or terribly good, depending on how you look at it) and from the age of seven I knew I wanted to be a writer - because then, I thought, I could get away with daydreaming all day. Of course, it turned out to be a lot harder than that. After a degree in English Language and Literature, editing a small magazine, teaching, and being a freelance journalist - plus a whole lot of daydreaming - I became a writer. Now, I write books for all ages but mostly for Young Adults and speak in schools, libraries and at festivals all across the UK.
About writer's work
‘The stories that spark my imagination are often about people on the edge,’ says Julie. ‘I look for something unusual that will fire up my imagination and hopefully yours too. I always begin with a strong sense of a landscape or a place and my characters and their stories seem to grow out of that. Being Scottish, the places that inspire me are often the landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes of Scotland. Each book is a new voyage of discovery.’ Best-selling Exodus was shortlisted for many awards, including the Whitbread Prize, won the Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year Award and was a US Booklist Top Ten Fantasy book. A sequel, Zenith, won the Catalyst Book Award. Soundtrack won a Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book Award. The Opposite of Chocolate was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Fiction Prize. The Ice Cream Machine was made into a popular TV programme for Channel 5. Dolphin Boy was shortlisted for the NASEN special needs award and a Blue Peter book award. All Julie’s older fiction has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and her books are sold in many countries around the world. Aurora, the final book in the Exodus trilogy, is now published.
Websites featuring the authorEarth Rise Blog | SFF Chronicles | Article in the Scotsman
Current events and projects
I like to bring my books alive with strong visual content and encourage audience discussion and Q&A. A popular event is a powerpoint presentation for older children, teenagers and adults with dramatic images of the ideas which sparked Exodus, Zenith and Aurora. This can be adapted into a writing workshop. eg. how news topics and scientific ideas can spark vivid creative writing. I have a wide experience of talks, readings and writing workshops for adults and children of all ages at all kinds of events, throughout the UK and beyond.
Preferred minimum two sessions (one/one-and-a-half hours each) if travelling out with Glasgow area. No limit on numbers but, where appropriate, my books should always be available to buy at the event.