Julie Garwood, Best-Selling Romance Novelist, Dies at 78

Romance novelist Julie Garwood’s books are centuries old and deal with modern-day ailments like computer hacking and pyramid schemes, but they always make it onto bestseller lists. He died at his home in Leawood, Kansas on August 8. Missouri border. she was 78 years old.

Her publisher, Penguin Group Berkeley, announced her death in a statement, but did not disclose the cause of death.

The company says more than 40 million copies of Garwood’s books have been printed in 32 languages. It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that she launched her writing career.

She was writing but still publishing a young adult novel, A Girl Named Summer, when she entered the historical romance genre with Gentle Warrior, a story set in feudal England in 1985. I didn’t. She was her prolific, with “Rebellious Desire,” “Honor’s Splendor,” “The Lion’s Lady,” and “The Bride” all following her by the end of the 1980s.

Her books quickly became very popular. But as she often said, her real life was busy with kids and down to earth.

“I was in Seattle the other day and was greeted at the airport in a limousine,” she told the Kansas City Star in 1989 about her book tour. “When I got home, the laundry was incredible.”

All the early adult books were historical fiction, and Garwood took pride in the research he did, knowing that some readers were fussy about accuracy.

“I get letters saying I made a mistake,” she told The New York Times in 2007. I send them references, but usually he’s three. He has to find three references before he can put anything in the book. “

Of course, the historical details are just garnish. The main course was romance, served in prose typical of the genre.

“The kiss was very gentle and undemanding, but she put her arms around his neck and turned to him tenderly and happily,” Garwood said in the 114-page book The Secret (1992). I am writing in 12th-century Englishwoman Judith and Scottish general Ian unleash a smoldering passion. “He couldn’t control himself. The kiss became intense, hot, devouring. It’s wonderfully arousing.”

After working in the historical romance genre for 15 years, Garwood began writing contemporary novels with a strong suspenseful twist. The first work is “Heartbreaker” (2000), which begins with a priest listening to a psychopath’s confession, but the confession is not about past crimes, but about the crime he is about to commit, and the priest’s sister was intended to kill

However, modern novels still had a rough breathing. In her latest work, Grace Under Fire (2022), when her protagonist Isabel is accidentally involved in a shooting incident, a dashing lawyer named Michael stands up for her, leaving her one-third By the way, sparks fly. .

“Before she had a hunch of what he was about to do, he crouched down, wrapped his big powerful arms around her, and kissed her long and hard,” she wrote.

In “Sweet Talk” (2012), IRS agents were investigating a Ponzi scheme. Garwood immersed himself in the details of the Bernie Madoff scandal. Her “Wired” (2017) was about computer hackers, a subject she wasn’t familiar with, but told The Times she consulted acquaintances of hers to pinpoint her specifics.

Some critics found her storyline and character to be simplistic. But she said she wanted the women in her stories to be strong-willed women, no matter what era they were.

“I wish I had a heroine who stayed with an obnoxious man until the last page of the book,” she told the Birmingham Post-Herald, Alabama, in 1993.

“She needs more work.”

Julia Elizabeth Murphy was born on December 26, 1944 to Thomas Murphy and Felicita (Kennedy) Murphy and was raised in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mr. Garwood often told the story of missing a lot of school due to health problems, which resulted in him not being able to read until he was 11 years old.

“I had a tonsillectomy my sophomore year and had a lot of complications,” she told the California Orange County Registry Paper in 1993. “When I got back to school, the other kids were already reading. I just couldn’t keep up.”

At first, she said she struggled to react when she realized she was late and tried to hide it from her peers and teachers.

“I was so scared that they would find out I was stupid,” she told the Birmingham newspaper. I remember being so scared. “

She credits the nuns at St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City for guiding her on the right path.

“The Elizabeth sisters were a big influence on me,” Garwood, who often spoke to schoolchildren about her experiences, told The Star in 1997. Then she transferred me to O. Henry. “

“Once I learned to read, I ate everything I could get my hands on,” she added.

Garwood’s marriage to Gerald Garwood ended in divorce in 1967. She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth. She has two sons, Brian and Gerald. Two sisters, Kathleen McGuire and Mary Benson. and three grandchildren.

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