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About the Author: Julia Watts

From the author's website: Perhaps because I grew up in rural Appalachia right along the Kentucky/Tennessee boundary, I like to explore and push boundaries in my fiction. I've been writing since I was a little kid, and unfortunately, my parents still have some of my earliest, crayon-illustrated work to prove it. As an undergraduate at The University Tennessee, I studied literature instead of creative writing because I was too nervous to set foot inside a workshop. I overcame my workshop phobia in graduate school at the University of Louisville, where I earned an M.A. in English with a creative writing thesis, a collection of short stories. Like most novelists, I started out writing short fiction, but I soon found my stories growing like overfed goldfish cramped by the confines of their small bowl. I wrote my first novel, Wildwood Flowers, in 1996, and Barbara Grier at Naiad Press agreed to publish it. Three more novels for Naiad followed.

When Barbara Grier and Donna McBride at Naiad announced their intention to retire, I was left with a nearly finished manuscript for a young adult novel and no idea of where to send it. Remembering Alyson Publications' history of publishing gay and lesbian teen fiction, I sent it to them and was delighted when they snapped it up. The novel, Finding H.F., ended up winning the 2002 Lambda Literary Award in the Children's/Young Adult category. I was at the awards ceremony in New York to accept my prize, though I was hugely pregnant and resembled Shamu in my black-and-white cocktail dress.

I took a break from writing novels for a year or so after my son's and then went back to graduate school through Spalding University's low-residency program, earning an M.F.A. in Writing. Then the feminist press Spinsters Ink rose from its ashes and published my next novel, Women's Studies. In 2007, Spinsters published what is perhaps my favorite of all my novels so far, The Kind of Girl I Am, which went on to be a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in the Women's Fiction category.

My current series of projects began with Kindred Spirits, a mystery/suspense novel for middle-grade readers which I wrote because my kids begged me to write something for them. Kindred Spirits was released by Beanpole Books last year. The second book in the series, Free Spirits, will be published this fall. As is probably obvious from my bio, I love to write, but when I'm not writing, I enjoy other people's books, movies, theatre, and cooking. I teach at South College in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I live with my family and far too many pets.


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Goodreads rating: 3.38

Paperback, Published in Sep 2008 by Beanpole Books

ISBN10: 0966735994 | ISBN13: 9780966735994

Page count: 147

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