Julia North

Meet the author

I’m a writer who cares deeply about my characters and their worlds. If I were to sum up my essence, I’d say I am a glass half-full person who believes in the power of hope and the grace of God. Although many of my characters experience great darkness, light always carries them through.

I was born in South Africa and grew up during the time of apartheid. The evil of racism is a theme I deal with in my novel ‘Hear Me’ which is set in the time of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as President of the newly democratic South Africa in 1994.

I’ve always been a dreamer with a touch of the rebel. At school the only subjects I cared about were the Arts, and I have to admit to being somewhat on the lazy side. Theatre has always been one of my passions, and after attending Drama school, I was involved in the world of professional theatre for a time both on stage and on radio. I love living in a world of imagination and losing myself in the life of characters whether in plays or in books.

As a Drama teacher I often wrote my own stories and plays. My tutor encouraged me to continue writing and to look at publishing my work. I moved to the UK in 2000, found a Literary agent and published my first children’s book (Alexandra Trott and the Muti Machinations).

Ironically, despite not liking school as a teenager, I went into the world of teaching. I have headed a number of Departments and taught English, History, Drama, Philosophy and Ethics and Anthropology up to A-Level. I progressed to becoming a Deputy Head and served for a time as Acting Head.

Unlike my lazy young self, I am now diligent and disciplined. I studied an Advanced Writing course through the Open College of the Arts and have a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. I’ve done writing courses through the Professional Writing Academy and the Goldenegg Academy and I read widely on my craft. Currently I work as a Designated Safeguarding Lead where I deal with many difficult child protection issues. My teenage spirit is still very much alive, and I have great empathy for young adults and the trials, and tribulations of their lives.

I have one grown up daughter who is the light of my life and a Siamese cat called Tao who is uber indulged. Although I’ve been through some tough times, my faith has always carried me through. I guess for me everything I’ve experienced has fed my writing – because in essence I believe that writing is about being human and sharing our human experience – the fun, the mystery, the battles and the heartache.

I’ve been a judge for creative writing competitions and a guest author at several Literary festivals. I won the adult writing section at the Salisbury Literary Festival in 2017 and was shortlisted in the Yeovil Literary Prize and awarded Highly Commended for an early draft of ‘Lieutenant Hotshot’. My play ‘Warchild’ (a stage adaptation of Lieutenant Hotshot) was longlisted in the Burntwood Prize 2019 and made it through to the 2nd reading of the Papatango playwrighting competition 2020 and the Bush Theatre. It is currently being considered for production by a mainstream theatre.

I’m blessed to live in Salisbury, Wiltshire, a small but wonderful Medieval city with an awesome cathedral. I still hold a great love for my African roots and the magic of that continent. The light and darkness of Africa feature strongly in ‘Lieutenant Hotshot’ as well as in my psychological thriller ‘Hear Me.

I’m an avid and wide reader and one of my favorite books is Paul Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’ – a stirring story of destiny and following your dreams. For me writing is doing just that and as an eternal optimist I’m determined to keep going.