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Hi! I’m Julie Merrin. I grew up in Findlay, Ohio, in a large family. As the oldest of six children in an often loud and chaotic house, I discovered early on that I could escape some of the chaos by losing myself in a book. I did this frequently and with such efficiency that my two youngest brothers could be rolling around on the floor fighting three feet from me...and I would be oblivious. In my imagination, I was probably somewhere on the prairie in the old west or on a rocket to the moon. You can go anywhere in a book.
It is not too surprising then, that I had a dream of one day becoming a writer. When I was in about 4th grade, I used to say that when I grew up, I wanted to be a teacher during the school year, a librarian in the summer...and a writer in my spare time.
Up until age 49, my only published work was a poem that appeared as an award winner in the October 1974 "Wee Wisdom" children's magazine. The funny thing about that one was that I had forgotten the assignment given by Mrs. Gerber, my 6th grade language arts teacher, to write a poem. As I stood with my classmates outside her door waiting for the previous class to be dismissed, someone asked me what I had written. Frantically, I asked if anyone had a piece of paper I could borrow. Someone gave me a small sheet torn from a 3X5 notepad on which I scribbled eight lines of poetry, breathed a sigh of relief, and turned it in. I didn't find out until I was in 7th grade that my teacher had liked the poem, submitted it, and that it had been published.
Over the years, I have written a number of other things including a Christmas play, a children's musical, and a number of short skits. These have all been performed, but not yet officially published. I have three ideas in various stages of development for collections of anecdotes on topics ranging from language bloopers to Merrin family legends. The first would likely appeal to expatriates living around the world. The last, though, is likely to have a fairly limited audience.
Currently, I am working on a series of children's books for kids aged 5-9. The "Katie Grace" series follows the adventures, trials, and challenges of a seven-year-old girl. Katie Grace is energetic, enthusiastic, competitive, sometimes selfish, and other times tender-hearted. In the first books of the series, her parents use several of the parables Jesus told to help Katie Grace find solutions to the challenges she faces. Book #1 in this series is available on Smashwords as of early March 2013.
As for my personal life, I ministered for twenty years in Southeast Asia, ten of which were spent serving at a children's home. I have lived in this area of the world since 1993, and deeply love the people here. I am a single mom to a beautiful daughter who I adopted from this country. She has been with me since she was six weeks old, with the adoption finally being finished when she was two years old. That could be another story to write, but as it is HER story, I don't think I'll ever publish it as part of a biography. But who knows...a fictionalized version might show up somewhere along the line in that novel I want to write someday.
In 2013, my daughter and I moved back to the United States where we live in northwest Ohio. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work again with teenagers at the local high school as one of the school secretaries.