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MY PROFESSIONAL (AND EXTREMELY BORING) AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Julie Anne Peters is the critically-acclaimed, award winning author of more than a dozen books for young adults and children. Her book, Luna, was a National Book Award Finalist; Keeping You a Secret  was named a Stonewall Honor Book; Between Mom and Jo won a Lambda Literary Award; and Define “Normal” was voted by young readers as their favorite book of the year in California and Maryland. Julie’s books have been published in numerous countries, including Korea, China, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Indonesia, Turkey, and Brazil.

She is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN America, Colorado Authors League, and The Author's Guild.

Julie loves writing because she gets to be her own boss and doesn't have to work in an office cubicle. It's hard to think outside the box when you work in a cube. She lives in Lakewood, Colorado, with her partner, Sherri, and far too many cats. The cats are under the impression that they're creative geniuses, since they spend a majority of their day walking back and forth across her computer keyboard. They probably generate more words per day than she does, but who can read cat gibberish?

 

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Here I am in first grade before the invention of color film and, apparently, teeth.

 

I was born in Jamestown, New York, during the Peloponnesian Wars. I don't know when the Peloponnesian Wars were. Ancient history to me is, like, last weekend. Actual birthdate: January 16, 1952. My family moved to Colorado when I was five years old, so I consider myself a "near native." My growing up years were spent in the 'burbs of Denver, where I frequently tormented my older brother, John, and two younger sisters, Jeanne and Susan. Our home was a virtual landing zone for stray animals, friends, and relatives. You never knew who (or what) you'd find in the bathroom. It was noisy, but fun.

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Third grade

Fifth grade

Retro grade

I was always the perfect daughter (cough). That's what I wanted my parents to believe. My parents were divorced when I was in high school, a trauma from which I’m still trying to recover. Our Bohemian mother loaded the caravan and moved us all to the city, where I finished school at Denver’s North High. Valkyries rule.

School was something I did well. My first college degree was a B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in French. Colorado Women's College offered an exchange program to Geneva, Switzerland, which I jumped at, and after a year abroad I now know what not to order in a French restaurant. Steak tartare. I believe steak tartare contributed to my subsequent all-veggie, all-the-time ideology.

I taught fifth grade for one year before I realized that I was too young and naïve to teach. Teachers are angels and I had a loooooooooooooooong way to go before I could earn my wings in that profession. (I think I missed the boat on classroom management.) How to overcome failure was the hardest lesson I've ever learned. I'm not sure I have, or ever will. But I had become accustomed to eating regularly, so I figured I'd better find a new career. Returning to the one place where success was under my control (school), I earned a B.S. degree in Computer and Management Science. They don't call it a B.S. for nothing.

During the next ten years I worked as a research analyst, computer programmer, and systems engineer until the entire left half of my brain turned to cheese. I also picked up a Masters Degree in Business and Computer Science, which only confirmed my suspicion that IS was not the career for me. You can only waste so much of your life geeking out about 4GL and artificial intelligence. There's a reason they call it artificial.

To deal with the devastating possibility that I might have actually failed at my SECOND career choice, I began to write. What came out of me were stories and books for young people. They took me back to the time in my life when the decisions I made, the paths I chose, determined the kind of person I would become.

I still live in Colorado, in the 'burbs. My partner Sherri and I met in college, and we’ve been together ever since. Our home sits on a hill with a breathtaking view of the snow-capped peaks along the Continental Divide. There's a skulk of foxes (that's what my Thesaurus calls them) who've laid claim to our neighborhood, along with the occasional coyote on the prowl for good garbage digs.

My neighbors think I'm slumming because I stay home all day. But they can't see all the places I go to in my mind. Amazing, exciting, happy, sad, horrible, wonderful places. Yeah, okay, these may be psychotic episodes brought on by lack of human contact, but I like to think my brain is a breeding ground for stories. Something is always festering in there. So, readers, sit tight; you're in for a rocky ride. I promise you one thing—it'll be noisy, but fun.

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