Julia Watts, like her character Syd, is a small-town southeastern Kentucky girl. Unlike Syd, however, Julia grew up with a pair of great, supportive parents who helped her believe in herself even when she felt like she didn’t belong. Writing has always been Julia’s favorite thing, with reading as a close second, which is which is why she writes and buys books at an alarming rate. She is the author of numerous novels for both young adults and “old adults,” including the YA novels Finding H.F., which won the 2002 Lambda Literary Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category, and Secret City, which was a 2013 Lambda Literary Award finalist and Golden Crown Literary Award winner. Julia holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, where she worked with Robin Lippincott, and an MA in English from the University of Louisville. She teaches at South College at in Murray State University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her family, four cats, and one spoiled pug.