Local writer Julie Mata is the author of Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens, in which 12-year-old Kate dreams of becoming a big-time movie director. But her dreams turn into nightmares when she has to deal with high maintenance chickens and the desertion of her best friend. The second novel in the Kate Walden Directs line, called Bride of Slug Man, will be out in May, 2015.
Mata says that if sales are strong for the second Kate book, she would consider writing a third one, but she admits that she’s excited about another manuscript she has. This one, also aimed at middle-school readers, is a fantasy adventure called, Sword & Pillar. “I’m really excited about it, and I hope Disney Hyperion will be interested in publishing it,” she says.
Mata always loved reading and writing. She penned her first story at age six, entitled Charlotte the Horse, and was thrilled when it received a starred review from her mother.
After graduating from Oberlin College with a B.A. in English, Julie worked at a country radio station as a reporter and part-time dee-jay. She went back to school at Northwestern University and earned her masters degree in broadcast journalism. Finally, her big chance arrived. She landed a job pounding out copy as a TV reporter and covered everything from murder trials to pig races at the county fair. She also worked as a news producer and freelance writer.
Along the way, Mata married and raised two daughters, three dogs, and ten chickens. At various times, her family also adopted turtles, snakes, fish, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, parrots, ferrets, and a gecko. Julie Mata and her husband live in Neenah, Wisconsin, and own a video production company.
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