Julie was born in Manchester from a long line of storytellers and anecdotists. She moved to Cheshire, Yorkshire and then the Midlands, from where her family moved south and left her behind at 17 (she didn’t want to live in a “dead end market town”). Julie studied, worked and married in Liverpool before moving south to said “dead end town” to raise a family; and she actually likes it there. She is a qualified primary teacher of over 20 years, most recently in outdoor learning, and has been a wrestling wordsmith for nearly 50. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, and has written two YA novels and is working on a third. She also writes as a freelance feature journalist and short story writer, and has a children’s short story published by Walker Books, as well as a published work of creative fiction based on a women’s outdoor pursuit group – She Who Dares. Julie continues to dare, read, write, and travel as a parent to two teens, and an occasional outdoor swimmer and burlesque dancer.
As a Story Terrace writer, Julie interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better: you can read an autobiographical story of her own below. Get in touch today to work with her!
Sand Between the Toes
We didn’t own a car when I was little, so when my Uncle John pulled up in his new red Escort and we all piled in, I knew it was going to be a special day. I knew this with the surety of a three year old whose life experience had stretched only to the trampoline at the local playgroup (a heady day supplemented by squash and Jammie Dodgers). Four of us piled into the back; my mum, my uncle’s girlfriend (a glamorous make-up artist that worked for Granada news who I was named after), me and my uncle’s flea-ridden dog, Bacon. Dad sat in the front.
It was a long, hot journey. My head was stuffed under Mum’s right armpit and Bacon had his nose up my new shorts. He smelled like bacon too. Finally the car stopped and, without the invention of child locks to stop me, I swung the door open and burst forth onto the promenade, climbed over a low wall and legged it down to the sea in my knee high white socks and best red leather sandals, Bacon close behind. We charged feet first into the Welsh surf. I didn’t stop to take off my sandals; the buckles were a bit tricky.
The rest of our holiday was coloured by that first experience. My uncle bought me a straw cowboy hat and I wore it proudly as we engaged in a kick about next to the caravan. Dad missed the ball and sprained his ankle. He hobbled to the sea to soak it in salt water and came back with third degree sunburn on his shins. Mum hadn’t brought any bedding so he lay agonising under a scratchy blanket in the caravan while I was taken back to the beach for a sandal-free paddle. I’ve loved the sea ever since, and am the only member of my family that can swim.