Julie Kistler is the author of 30 romance novels and five shorter works,
including one Cat Crime, two chapters for charity projects, an online serial and
a novella. Julie won the Madcap Award for the best romantic comedy of 2001 for
JUST A LITTLE FLING, a Harlequin Temptation, and she was nominated for Romance
Writers of America's Rita Award for BLACK JACK BROGAN, a Harlequin American
Romance. Several of her books have hit the Waldenbooks Best-Seller Lists.
She and her husband, Scott Johnson, co-authored ONCE THERE WERE GIANTS, the
story of how tiny Hebron High School won the Illinois High School basketball
tournament in 1952. That book came out in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary
of Hebron's amazing run to the state championship.
Julie was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois (yes, she "played in Peoria") but
moved to the Chicago area for high school, where she met her husband Scott in
10th grade. (He sat in front of her in math class and she was attracted to his
tall, dark, handsome and very smart ways.) Scott and Julie both attended the
University of Illinois, and Julie graduated with a BA in history (Phi Beta
Kappa, magna cum laude) in 1978. She married Scott in 1980, and then 1) got a
law degree (cum laude) from the University of Illinois, 2) passed the Minnesota
bar exam, 3) ran off with Scott for a two-month trip to Europe, and 4) moved to
Minnesota to be a lawyer (in that order).
But law didn't suit her very well, and Julie left the legal world to be a
full-time writer in 1985. She also sold her first book in 1985 (nine days after
quitting her job.) That book was THE VAN RENN LEGACY, a madcap treasure hunt
with a quote-acrostic for readers to solve, and it also earned Julie her second
Golden Heart nomination.
Julie and Scott moved back home to Illinois in 1989, and have lived in Central
Illinois ever since. A lifetime movie and theater lover, Julie began a side
career as a theater critic for the Champaign News-Gazette in 1990. She has now
joined the Board of Directors of Heartland Theatre, in Bloomington, Illinois,
and she initiated an annual ten-minute play contest there which has proved to be
very popular. Julie's play, "Hopeless Romantics," was performed in the first
year of Heartland's Ten-Minute Playfest.
In her life, Julie has been a student, front desk clerk, room service waiter,
switchboard operator, pizza chef, criminal prosecutor, singing and dancing law
book (see photo below), prose reader, legal research expert, member of the Board
of Directors of Romance Writers of America, president of Novelists Inc,
marketing manager, romance writer, sportswriter, reporter, critic, Fred Astaire
fanatic, cat lover, White Sox fan, daughter, sister, wife and friend.