Julie Harris

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Anna's Gold 
Anna’s Gold

The idea for Anna’s Gold was born as Julie was panning for gold in a leech infested creek. (Her great grandfather, James Cowan, was a gold prospector and Julie’s sure she inherited the panning gene from him.) At her mother’s insistence, she entered the story in a writing competition, the novel was shortlisted, and published as a paperback in 1992. This story is set in the lesser known goldfields of Southern Queensland, an historical action adventure/romance.
Encore


No Exit
Encore

Julie entered the competition again, this time with Encore, a paranormal thriller that took eight weeks to write to first draft stage. Julie remembers the phone call informing her she’d won either first, second or third prize. At the time, Julie was a struggling sole parent of two school age daughters. Wearing a borrowed dress, she was flown to Melbourne for the prize presentation ceremony. Whilst waiting nervously in the foyer of the Sebel Hotel, she ‘befriended a really nice bloke who was sitting on his own and looking a bit sad’. Julie soon discovered this new friend was best selling author of The Power of One,Bryce Courtenay, and he was in Melbourne to present first prize for the writing competition. ‘No wonder he smirked a bit when he asked my name. There I was, talking to a celebrity and I hadn’t a clue. That’s probably why we’re still friends.’ And yes, her story won first prize. ‘I don’t remember much about it – a journalist at my table kept topping up my champagne glass.’ But she does remember getting to a phone at 2 am, calling her parents and speaking to her father, who never really believed her writing would go anywhere. Get a real job was his repetitious mantra. ‘Dad, I won.’ ‘What’s that mean?’ ‘25,000 dollars’. A couple of years before he died he admitted he was proud of her perseverance, for ‘having a go’ despite having a rejection file that filled the second drawer of the filing cabinet. Why? All he wanted to be was a pilot but he was too afraid to follow his dream.

The timing wasn’t right for Encore in 1992 – heavens, the USA will never have a black President! – and when the book was released it bore little resemblance to the original story. The editing experience almost put Julie off writing for life. But some stories just won’t die peacefully and in 2001 she rewrote Encore, and No Exit was published in Germany in 2003. The story has since been adapted for screen. For any budding screenwriters, go to <http://www.wordplayer.com/>.
The Longest Winter


The Longest Winter UK
The Longest Winter

One summer’s day in 1993 as she mowed the grass Julie had a vision of a man wearing a fur-lined parka. He had piercing blue eyes and he looked miserable. His face wouldn’t go away, so that evening the first chapter of The Longest Winter was written. The story was about John Robert Shaw, a biplane pilot from Florida who, in 1924, crashed in the Aleutian Islands, and didn’t make it back to the mainland until the evacuation of the Aleutians during World War II.

Many people who read The Longest Winter believe it’s a true story. But the male brain forever remains a mystery, Julie can’t fly a plane, she’s never seen snow, and the closest she’s been to mainland USA was a Writers Conference in Hawaii (where she met aspiring writers who were busy publicizing stories they hadn’t yet written).

In 1998 The Longest Winter was optioned for a movie. In London, 2000, she met Australian director Bruce Beresford, who was hoping to direct and stay faithful to the story, but the movie never took flight. Rob Spillman from The New York Times (1995) described the novel as ‘a moving testament to survival and adaptation’. As well as editions in Germany and France, a UK edition was published in 2005 by Robert Hale, London.
Der Lange Winter Am Ende Der Welt

The Longest Winter France
Eisgeflüster
Shadows from the Ice

Shadows from the Ice was published in Germany as a follow up to The Longest Winter. It traces the life of John Robert Shaw’s son, Billy, as a chopper pilot in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive and the battle of Hue.
Tochter des Fürsten
An Absence of Angels/All or Nothing At All

An Absence of Angels/All or Nothing At All, is an historical action adventure/romance. This story is set in France during the time of the Children’s Crusade. It has been published twice in Germany (Im Zeichen der Fehde and Die Tochter des Fürsten).
All or Nothing
The Site
The Site

The Site was written because of a ‘what if?’ question. What if the government starts building a hi tech prison somewhere in the Australian outback, but they’re building it on sacred, haunted ground?
Marie Corelli
Beyond Laughter

Beyond Laughter is a fictional biography of the life of Marie Corelli, Victorian author, who in her time, outsold HG Wells. Queen Victoria was a huge fan. Julie became interested in Corelli in the mid 1980s when a professor handed her a copy of A Romance of Two Worlds and said, ‘I think you should read this’. In 1995, whilst visiting England, Julie went to Stratford upon Avon with her musician-therapist friend, John Richardson. Visiting Corelli’s house, Mason Croft, was like stepping back in time. John kept the receptionist busy while Julie attempted to go upstairs and into Corelli’s bedroom but she was stopped halfway up the staircase by an impenetrable wall of such devastating sadness and loneliness she literally ran from the house in tears and swore she’d never go back. She wrote Beyond Laughter on her return to Australia.