Julie Ann Maahs
Writers are not supposed to have idyllic childhoods, and certainly it didn't seem all that idyllic at the time. I was the youngest of three kids, growing up in a small town in Northern California. The natural beauty of the region and the mystery of the coastal fog show up often in my writing. By conventional standards, small towns don't provide a lot in the way of entertainment, but I wasn't exactly conventional. There was a library, and that was paradise.
I can't remember when I learned to read. I remember being very young, sitting with my father and reading aloud. Books were my first love, I think. The big picture books, the Little Golden Books, the Harvey comic books, and even the books with no pictures at all.
They were portals to other worlds, to places where exciting adventures happened, where heroes always knew just enough to solve the mystery, and where every story, no matter how scary, was sure to have a happy ending. Between the pages of a book I could be fearless and agile, not awkward and shy. Nowhere in the world was too far away to travel on such wings.
As soon as I was old enough I discovered the library. I don't know when that was, but I remember seeing a library card with a 1964 expiration date, so I was not yet five. The library was a wonderful place, smelling of old books, with a loft just right for curling up to read in privacy. There, my world expanded further, from Doctor Doolittle to Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and the Black Stallion series. Also the classics: Heidi, Pollyanna, and Lad: a dog. I read them all well before reaching adolescence. Mary Stewart earned a special place in my heart back then.
Time happened, as it does to all of us. I abandoned most fiction when I went to college (California State University, Sacramento). I studied language and philosophy, and read classic literature. Writing seemed rather pointless, although I did write some children's stories during that era.
I did not write seriously until the mid-1990's. After a back injury put me out of work, I sat down with a box of pencils and some wire-bound notebooks. But I still needed a reliable source of income, so instead of finishing the three novels I began at that time, I put them aside and turned my attention to the study of income tax. Now I have a well-established, albeit struggling, income tax business, and it seems time to share these stories with the world. Let me know if you like them.
Oh, and since you asked: I currently live in Sacramento, California with my husband Walt, our dog Sassy, and our cats Big Boy, Tortie and Calico.
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The Serpent and the Stag
by Julie Ann Maahs
A serial killer lurks in the Northern California fog, and young women are disappearing. Sarah is 16, pretty, naive. Her beloved mother now dead, Sarah must run away from her hated aunt to search for the father she barely knows. Right into the serpent's den. What she finds horrifies her. Is the strange boy she meets there the real killer? Is her father involved? Can she escape before it's too late?
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With This Ring, I Thee Dread
on April 17, 2010
After an awkward, slow start, it developed into a sweet little romance. Yes, the hero is sort of a fantasy guy, who makes it a serious research project to find out what women want in a man. That was odd, almost comical. And yes, the premise is kind of silly. But, somehow, halfway through, I started really caring about these people.
I don't usually read straight romance, preferring romantic suspense or adventure. But this one succeeds.