Author Julie Holmes writes a variety of mysteries, from suspense with a touch of romance to police procedurals with a brush of extrasensory. In 2021, she earned a Certificate in Fiction Writing from UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. She is a member of the MWA (Mystery Writers of America), the national Sisters in Crime (SinC) writers’ organization, and is the current president of the Twin Cities chapter of SinC. Find her at https://julieholmesauthor.com.
Medium Author Bio:
Author Julie Holmes writes a variety of mysteries, from suspense with a touch of romance to police procedurals with a brush of extrasensory, with forays into fantasy and science fiction. and has had short stories published in small press magazines. A former aircraft mechanic for a commuter airline, she is now a technical writer for a software company. In 2021, she earned a Certificate in Fiction Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, administered by the UW’s Division of Continuing Studies. She is a member of MWA (Mystery Writers of America), the national Sisters in Crime (SinC) writers’ organization, and is the current president of the Twin Cities SinC chapter. She hails from south-central Minnesota, where she lives on a small hobby farm with her husband and a menagerie of pets. You can find her at https://julieholmesauthor.com. Julie is represented by Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing.
Long Author Bio:
Every writer has an origin story–like superheroes, a certain something that sparked their writing bug. Some started writing later in life, some during their teen years. For me, the spark that fired my writing bug happened in fifth grade.
We had a visiting author spend an hour a day with our class for a week. During that time, he gave us various assignments, from writing limericks to short stories about rutabaga. Yes, we were challenged to write a story about a root vegetable. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I do remember the writer complimenting me on my story.
That did it. That small “great job” sent my on my writing journey. My next writing project, written longhand on filler paper in a three-ring binder, was what would now be considered a middle-grade fantasy. By the time I graduated from high school I had written what could be considered fan-fiction, but back then it was for fun between me and my circle of friends. In college, I finished the fantasy I started in high school. I let some of my college friends read it, and they encouraged me with their feedback. Granted, the feedback was more “this is great, when are you going to get it published” and less “this part of the story doesn’t work, why does that character do this instead of that”, but it gave me fuel to continue down that road.
When I got two of my short stories published in small press magazines (and even got paid real money for one of them), I knew writing was something I could do. Getting published reinforced my desire to continue writing, but after my second story was published, life took over. I still wrote when I could, but two young children needed far more of my attention.
Once the kids were older, I tried to get back into writing, but I didn’t gain much momentum for a long time. When my mother passed away, I felt my drive to write resurface, but it wasn’t until I read an article about Minnesota authors and National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo, 50k words in 30 days) that I knew how to gain traction.
From that point on, I participated in NaNoWriMo and drafted a book each year. More practice and some constructive critiques from a few generous writers on a writing site called FanStory.com helped me hone my skills. Eventually I took some online writing classes. I practiced. I revised some of my drafts, and worked up the courage to try and get into a master novel-writing class conducted by a writing teacher students raved about.
That class was the best thing that happened for me and my writing. That class introduced me to a handful of other talented writers, and we worked together to help each other improve our stories. We became more than just fellow writers. We became a group of friends, close enough to call ourselves Writing Sisters. We support and encourage each other with our writing and beyond.
The book I workshopped that year in the master class won an award in 2014, but after years of querying without success, I decided I needed a new story. Using my experience as an aircraft mechanic to shape a story has proven to be a successful venture. I crossed paths with a wonderful agent at the right time, and she challenged me to make the story better. When we connected with a publisher who loved the story as much as we did, the rest led up to the release of my first book, Murder in Plane Sight.