Georgia non-fiction author, Julie Lavender may beg to differ with Thomas Wolfe, NC author of You Can’t Go Home Again. Born in Statesboro, Julie currently lives in Statesboro, but in the interim, she resided in five other states. “After my high school and college sweetheart-turned-hubby and I completed our Masters Degrees, he joined the Navy as a medical entomologist, so we spent twenty years living in other places. We’ve lived in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, California, and Washington state.”
Julie grew up in a farming family. Although they couldn’t afford to travel or purchase a lot of “extras, interestingly,” they had a globe—and she could dream. The idea of traveling excited her, but it would be years before she would travel with her husband to places like Barbados, Ecuador, Bermuda, Israel, and Puerto Rico.
In spite of her family’s meager funds, her mother always found enough money for Julie to order from the Scholastic Book Club. “I was the little girl who ordered the most books in my classroom almost every time.”
Always loving children’s literature, she fell in love with it even more after becoming a teacher. “I found many books I loved, and a few I thought were poorly written. I remember pondering the thought, ‘If this poorly written book can get published, then surely I can write a kids’ book.’ I made a few futile attempts, doing everything wrong, and met with lots of rejections. But the writing bug had captured me, and when I became a stay-at-home mom, I started researching how to write and get published, began reading lots of books, and attended a few conferences to learn what I should do.”
Although, she still dreams of writing a children’s book, God has opened numerous doors for her to publish other works. This past October, Julie’s book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories. was released by Revell. It offers creative suggestions for activities, gestures, and expressions of love to show your child how much you treasure them. With simple ideas and heartwarming tokens of affection, 365 Ways encourages you to spend quality time with your child every day to create a treasury of warm memories to savor throughout childhood and beyond. With each expression of your love, your child gets a glimpse of the unfathomable love of our heavenly Father.
When asked what advice she would offer aspiring authors, Julie said, “Don’t give up! Persist! Keep moving forward. Don’t give up on your dream. Do the hard work, and as you move forward with your book, don’t give up writing smaller pieces. Newspaper and magazine articles will help you build the necessary contacts and platform you need to get your book published.”
Looking forward, Julie says, “I’m a new empty-nester and really miss my days of kids in the house. Now that our last child has graduated from college and they’ve all moved away, I hope to visit them often and let their new lives be my inspiration for future writing—especially my almost-two-year-old grandson. I really want to write a book that my grandchildren will hold in their hands one day.”
“Love your children with great gusto. You’ll make memories to last a lifetime, and you’ll give them a glimpse of how big the love of their heavenly Father is! And on those days when you think you’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone make ‘lasting memories,’ then give yourself grace and realize that you’ll have another opportunity the next day.” —Julie Lavender, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories
Growing up in a financially strapped farming family, this author learned to appreciate small affirmations of love. Today, she pays it forward. Check out my Author Snapshot and meet Julie Lavender. Click To Tweet