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Thomas, Julie
Writer's File

Julie Thomas

Thomas, Julie
In brief
Julie Thomas is an author who lives in Cambridge. She has published four books, which have all been released in Australia and New Zealand by HarperCollins NZ. All four have topped the Neilson NZ Best Selling Books List. Three of her best-known books form the Horowitz Chronicles, which have also been published in Dutch. The NZ Listener wrote that “Thomas’ writing comes alive when describing the glories of music and the alchemy of its extraordinary practitioners."
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THOMAS, Julie (1959- ) was born in Auckland and went to St Cuthbert’s College from 1971- 1977. She was born with congenital heart defects which meant she had to spend the first four years of her life in bed. She quickly found a love of books and learned to read. By the time she was 8 years old, she had the reading comprehension skills of a 17-year-old.

After leaving school she went to the University of Auckland and gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English in 1980. After she graduated, she worked at a public relations firm in London. In 1984 she became a radio, television, and film producer, and during her time in this role, she gained an in-depth understanding of the industry. In 2011 she settled in Cambridge and became a full-time writer.

Thomas’ first book The Keeper of Secrets (2013) was originally self-published on the Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Within nine months, the number of downloaded copies reached 45,000 and she received an email from a senior editor at HarperCollins in New York. After some edits and a name change, the book was published. It focuses on 80 years of history which included Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Millenial London. Anthony Millen described the book as “Her strength is certainly in her ability to integrate her passion and knowledge of classical music and instruments into the story-line in a way that is accessible to readers lacking familiarity with such content”. The Keeper of Secrets (2013) was also featured on the USA Today Best Selling Books List.

Her second book, Blood, Wine, and Chocolate (2015) took a different direction and is a crime novel set in New Zealand and London. Emma Wong-Ming wrote, “I read this book in two quick gulps”.

Rachel’s Legacy (2016 ) was published by Harpers 360 and was released in the US in 2020. Firstly as an e-book in March, and in April as a paperback. It is a sequel to The Keeper of Secrets (2013) and told the story of a Jewish woman who was forced to give up her baby. She struck inspiration after a trip to London, Berlin, Munich, and the Dachau Concentration Camp in 2015 which resulted in her throwing away the original manuscript. It reached number one on Kindle, number two on Nook Books and 20th on Apple Books. It was also on the USA Today Best Selling Books List.

The final book in the Horowitz Chronicles, called Levi’s War (2018) was released in the USA in 2021 by Harpers 360. There are companies in the US who are considering making the trilogy into a film for Netflix or Lightbox.

Thomas is currently working on another historical trilogy about two families, one Scottish and one Russian that will cover years 1913- 2017.


NZ Herald Article on Julie Thomas

Review on The Keeper of Secrets