Julie was born in 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri. She is the sixth of eight children in a large Irish family. At the age of six, Julie had her tonsils removed and complications from the surgery resulted in a long period of recuperation. She fell hopelessly behind in school and never caught up. "I was a slow, slow reader," Julie says. "I hated it." At the age of 11, her mother discovered her daughter's secret and promptly enrolled her in a summer remedial reading class at the local high school. "When I got there the nuns immediately realized I wasn't even remedial. By chance, Sister Mary Elizabeth passed us in the hall and was drafted to tutor me." They spent the summer together, and Julie came to know Sister Elizabeth as a friend and mentor. The patient teacher eventually unlocked the door to the world of reading. "She taught me to love the written word. First, she introduced me to the Nancy Drew mysteries. One of her favorite authors was O. Henry, and he became one of mine, too. Of course, some of the vocabulary was beyond me so I had to look up a lot of words. I sat on a large dictionary -- got up, looked up a word, sat back down." Julie jumped up and down like a jack-in-the-box all summer.
Julie married young with Gerry Garwood and they had three children: Gerry Jr., Bryan Michael and Elizabeth. She began her writing career when the youngest of her three children entered school. After the publication of two young adult books, she turned her talents to historical romance fiction. Her first romance novel, Gentle Warrior, was published by Pocket Books with her married name in 1985 -- there have been over 20 novels since then. Her name appears regularly on the bestseller lists of every major publication in the country, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly. The popularity of her books expands with each new publication, and she is now read and enjoyed in many languages around the world.
With tens of millions of books in print, Julie Garwood has clearly earned a position among America's favorite fiction writers. Her reputation as a masterful storyteller is solidly founded in her ability to deliver stories with appealing characters, powerful emotions, and surprising plot twists. Readers claim that it's the humor as well as the poignancy of her novels that keep them laughing, crying and thoroughly entertained. Julie attributes much of her success to growing up in a family of Irish heritage. "The Irish are great storytellers who relish getting all the details and nuances of every situation. Add in the fact that I was the sixth of seven children. Early in life I learned that self-expression had to be forceful, imaginative and quick," says Julie.
Julie lives with her family in Leawood, Kansas. When her schedule allows time away from family and career, she devotes her efforts to promoting literacy, and especially enjoys sharing her love of reading with student groups.