Julie B

  • 1980

A creature-crazy country girl and high-maintenance writing friend. I feel fortunate to have found so many wonderful writing friends through Jericho that continue to put up with me!  

I'm American, but I live on a farm in Italy and divide my free time between two passions; teaching kids to ride horses and working on my children's chapter book adventure series. I've also just started writing my first full-length novel; a middle-grade sci-fi.

Julie B Discussions
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Paul Brodie is hosting another free webinar on how to do your own audio book and tips on outsourcing…
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  •  · Thanks Julie, brilliant, I’m signed up and ready to learn 👂👀
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Four months ago, I entered the Chicken House Books mentoring competition and I've just been informed…
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  •  · Exactly - you're 1 rejection closer to getting published. 🙌 
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This little online collection for children just came out and I'm happy to say I'm in it! Everyone wh…
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  •  · That's brilliant news, Julie!
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How much is too little back story in a fantasy? My main character is an alien. Do I treat her the sa…
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  •  · Thanks, Julie, much appreciated.
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This article is hard to believe but I found it almost more interesting for the peek behind the scene…
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  •  · Ha ha I understand.  I read the entire thing but honestly I dozed off twice before I reached the non…
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My first 1-2-1 is coming up and everyone says that the 15 minutes fly by. Considering my nerves, I’m…
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  •  · Oooohhh, these are nice too:(❁´◡`❁)  (¬‿¬)  ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ  ಠ_ಠ

 No, there's nothing wrong with starting with a question but the question you've used here doesn't really spark my interest. What's your second line? 

Maybe if you used something that could be considered 'wrong' in the question it would grab the reader more. I don't know your story but just to give you an example: "Was it wrong to talk to strange men in the subway?" or "Was it wrong to want your best friend to fail miserably?"

Congratulations! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Congratulations, Janet! The covers look fabulous together!


This article might help you decide which category your novel belongs to.

As for your question as where to start, the pub scene has conflict and drama, yes, but I'm not sure it raises a question in the reader's mind making them NEED to read on and find out. Could you add one?

With a bit of tweaking, the lab scene might be more representative of SF and there's more room for mystery. It could be an action scene too with tension, if Saffy is helping her dad with a unusual experiment. Just throwing some ideas around, I'm sure you'll come up with something much better! 

I'll check Coherence out and maybe revisit Black Mirror now that you've reminded me of it!

Hi Glyn!

Thanks for sharing your opening, I always enjoy reading your work. I liked the premise and you've done a great job character building your MC, Saffy. Her father reminds me of Walter Bishop in the TV series, Fringe, an absolutely great character. In fact, Fringe also has parallel universes and other similarities. Maybe you could use it as a comp. title?

I love the way you write, but I can't help but feel that you're not doing justice to the story or your writing in the opening chapter. Saffy is in her bedroom talking with her boyfriend. Although I got a ton of information about her personality, political views and what's important to her, I wanted more of a hook. 

I got it at the end of chapter one, but that's way too long to wait. You need to make an agent sit up and listen from the beginning by introducing a question in the reader's mind. You have so many options with this novel. Could you start with Saffy and her father in the lab? I was curious about what he was doing down there and their relationship was really well drawn. Or walking to the club and feeling watched? These are just suggestions and as you know, I write for children, so I may be out of my depth here!

You've got a great premise and complicated, well drawn characters. Together with your wonderful writing, I'm sure this will be a hit. Good luck!  

How fun, Peter! What age group is Mickey aimed at? I can see this as a picture book. Mickey's 'problem' is that he's always hungry, and young kids can relate well to this. I can see him getting into trouble trying to find food and you have a lot of possibilities for humor too. It sounds like you've got a great premise!

Hi Peter,

I love the idea of a novel completely in verse and about a seagull to boot! An elevator pitch should be short- under 50 words. The first sentence should introduce the main character, and if you can, make them seem relatable in some way.

The “catalyst” that launches the story—meaning the event that changes everything and leads the main character to have to act comes next. And then a sentence on why it's going to be difficult to solve their problem.

This simple formula might help you get started: [name of main character] must [action/plot] in order to [reach desired solution]. It's also important to be super specific with your pitch. Good luck!

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