Julie. What can I say about the reason Tommy and Jack survived? Julie’s story developed as a result of the situation Tommy was in when his parents were killed. She was 12 and had the personality of a 17-year-old. She was a reminder of his mom and of his past and she was the tie that held his sanity to him. It became a mission; make Julie’s life as normal as possible, and in doing so, maybe the loss wouldn’t destroy him.

Julie quickly took on a unique personality. When writing her, I am keenly aware that her main influences have been two young men with much to learn. She grew up with the love of family and the humor of the situation in which she lived. She went through the growing pains any teen girl does and the fun is finding out how her ‘brothers’ dealt with her. They were way out of their league and they all knew it, but with love and humor, they were the best family.

Julie is tenacious and passionate. She stands up for those she loves and for what she believes in. Once she gives you her word, there is nothing she won’t do for you and for her brothers, she will defend them and support them until she has nothing more to give.

Julie finding Bill was such a fun story to write. They are each others firsts in every way and that brings an element of uniqueness and passion that none of the other couples share. Julie knows the depth of Bill’s struggles and he has seen the deepest part of her fear. Being a soldier’s wife requires a level of trust, commitment and strength that is unmatched, and being without him for so long tested her will. A part of Julie that flourished was after Bill was injured in a roadside bomb and for her, she knew that if even one piece of him survived, she would help make him whole.

Julie is the character you can call at any hour of the night and she will drop everything to be there. She has the vulnerability of living through a tragic and sudden loss and she has the strength from surviving it. She truly epitomizes family, and I adore writing her.

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