A native of Southeastern Kentucky, Julia Watts has written thirteen novels for adults and young adults, most of which explore the lives of LGBT people in rural and smalltown Appalachia. Her novel Finding H.F. won the 2002 Lambda Literary Award in the Children's/Young Adult category. A novel for adults, The Kind of Girl I Am, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in the Women's Fiction category, and her 2013 young adult novel Secret City was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a winner of a Golden Crown Literary Award. Julia's other titles include Gifted and Talented; Hypnotizing Chickens; and most recently, Rufus + Syd, co written with Robin Lippincott. Julia holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University and has spoken at various national and regional conferences, including the AWP Conference, the NCTE Conference, the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, and the Denham Symposium on Appalachian Literature. She teaches at South College and in Murray State University's low-residency MFA in Writing program. She was recently inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. She currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"2018 Fall Okra Pick." -Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Perfect 10 Rating, VOYA Magazine "A timely novel, Quiver springboards conversation about family lifestyle and dynamics, the freedom of children to question their upbringing, and the power of friendship to overcome preconceptions." -Lambda Literary Review "Quiver is an amazing, heartfelt book with a powerful lesson to share. Nearly all young adults feel judged or excluded at some point in their lives; this story will help anyone, no matter their situation, see that acceptance is possible." -Foreword Reviews, starred review "Sympathetic and believable." -Publishers Weekly "An examination of friendship and events in life that make us reconsider why we believe what we believe." -Booklist "Discussions of values and morality are straightforward and thoughtful, offering some provocative opportunities for readers to articulate their own possibly unquestioned views in discussion. The atmosphere is vivid: Watts' knowledge of country Tennessee shines through in the details." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] contemporary gem . . . touches on many societal divides including ideology, religion and sexuality." -Catholic Library World "This is a wonderful story of friendship between two young people who are seeking their place within a world that is constantly changing, sometimes not for the better. For anyone who has felt "different," Watts's novel will be ultimately relatable." -VOYA Magazine "Opens important conversations about faith, family, independence, and identity." Kirkus Reviews "This just may be the perfect book for our times, when acknowledgement of common ground and empathy are sorely needed." -New York Journal of Books "Julia Watts' new novel finds room for friendship in the so-called culture wars." -Chapter 16 "[A] story about families and the difference between love and obedience. . . . thoughtful." -School Library Journal "Quiver is one of those LGBTQ YA books that humanizes both left-wing and conservative right viewpoints in the idea that most people are just trying to do the right thing. If you want to cultivate empathy for a perspective different from your own, this could be a powerful read." -Andy Windner "A thought-provoking young adult novel that explores fundamental Christianity and gender-fluidity . . . absolutely outstanding." -Book Reviews and More by Kathy "Remarkable. . . . If you're looking for a book that allows you to experience worlds you aren't familiar with, I can't recommend Quiver strongly enough." -Dews Reviews "A hopeful book. . . . Recommended for readers who seek possible bridges across the divides in our society." -Me, You, and Books "With Quiver, Julia Watts captures the essence of growing up in two wildly disparate families, and weaves a unique, compassionate tale of unlikely friendship. It's impossible not to root for Libby and Zo! "-Meagan Brothers, author, Weird Girl and What's His Name "Told from alternating points of view, this beautifully written book is just what the world needs right now. Quiver aimed for my heart and hit it straight on." -Leslea Newman, author October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard "Julia Watts' latest novel captures, with painful accuracy, the pointed conflicts between liberals and ultra-conservatives, tensions that pervade the United States in general and Appalachia in particular at this perilous point in our country's history. Quiver is one of the most moving books I've ever read." -Jeff Mann, author, Cub and Country "HIGHLY Recommend. This is the type of book that can make magic happen: it can open minds and challenge viewpoints through the unfolding of a truly beautiful story." -Amy Christine Parker, author, Gated and Astray "Julia Watts is a natural-born storyteller, and in her latest novel she has quite a story to tell. In its empathic and even-handed focus on the unlikely friendship between two teens whose families are on opposite sides of the religious/political spectrum, Quiver is a necessary book that's both of and for these terrible times." -Robin Lippincott, author, Blue Territory: A Meditation on the Life and Art of Joan Mitchell