About me

I don’t usually carry a bullwhip or always wear a slouch fedora, but I worked for many years as a professional field archaeologist and later as preservation archivist. I’ve edited professional journals and society newsletters, and taught writing to freshman college students. Before that, I was a newspaper copy editor, a radio announcer, and a riding instructor!

I left academia to pursue my lifelong love of storytelling. My favorite commercial genres have always been fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction. I love to read novels that pull me into other worlds, peopled with charismatic characters and richly painted cultures.

In September 2017, my writing life changed forever when I was lucky enough to be selected for the inaugural Story Grid Editor Certification Workshop in Nashville, where I and 18 other story nerds studied in-depth and in-person with Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl. Now I’m now part of a passionate and collaborative group of professional editors and writers whose mission is to share with others what we learned during that incredible week in Nashville.

JB Portrait small

As a novelist and developmental editor, I know that Story Grid is one of the most practical and useful techniques a writer can leverage. I’m committed to helping others use the Story Grid method to improve their stories.

I live in the phenomenally gorgeous Keweenaw Peninsula where it really snows a lot.

Julia’s insights not only offered constructive criticism on character development, story structure, and a much needed clarity around POV, but also provided me an opportunity to discuss what the story meant to me, directly. Her observations allowed me to recognize some pitfalls, get out of my own way, and see why I had trouble creating a meaningful ending. Her succinct summary notes also gave me the chance to put the work away for a period of time – and revisit with a fresh, but insightful map to reworking the manuscript.

– Mike Libera, author of Finderscope