ACWB is Centre Stage with Julie Rowe

Read this month’s Arts Council Wood Buffalo member feature in the May edition of snapd Wood Buffalo, on stands now!

Wood Buffalo is home to a small but well-published group of authors. One of these literary artists, ACWB member Julie Rowe, is publishing her thirteenth novel this month, Viable Threat. Julie has lived in Fort McMurray since 1976, graduating from Father Mercredi, and is now a contract instructor at Keyano College. Although she has a Medical Lab Technology diploma and worked as a lab tech before starting a family, Julie is a writer. “I’ve been writing since junior high, mostly poetry then. I wrote as a way to express my feelings and, after my kids came along, to give myself something engaging to do that wasn’t about parenting. I moved from poetry to short stories, then to personal essays and magazine articles, which sold to magazines like Today’s Parent and Canadian living.” Julie is not one to shy away from a challenge, which led her to her first book deal. “One day I read a particularly horrible romance novel and said to my friend, Mary, “This was so awful, I could write something better.” She dared me to do it, and I accepted the challenge,” Julie remembers. “It took me a year and a half to write that first 200 page book, and it was awful. I’d fallen in love with writing, however, and started another book, then another and another…I wrote for ten years, completing more than a dozen manuscripts, before I sold my first book…which came out in November of 2011.” Currently Julie is in the middle of a five book romantic thriller series contract, Outbreak Task Force. The first book, Viable Threat, is set to release on May 22, 2017.

After several years of experience, Julie is passionate about supporting other artists in achieving their goals. “A lot of people helped me during the years before I sold my first book, so I’d like to pay that forward where I can,” Julie says. She is currently mentoring some local young writers, she teaches an online workshop about discovering your writing voice, and she will be instructing bookfolding art at The Art Foundry. Aside from writing or practicing your art every day, Julie advises artists to submit your art/writing to opportunities so that your work gets out there; take as many classes and workshops as you can, as learning is key; and go to conferences/conventions so that you can meet fellow artists, industry professionals, and consumers – network! You can keep up with Julie on her website, on Goodreads, and on Twitter and Facebook.