As a child, Julia Johnson loved dressing up and making up stories! Her life has revolved around storytelling ever since! She has read stories on the radio and TV, narrated stories for audiobook companies, run drama workshops for young people and toured schools with Theatre-in-Education productions, both in the Gulf and the UK. In search of adventure, Julia and her architect husband Brian arrived in Dubai in 1975, long before the skyscrapers and smart hotels and fancy shopping malls. From pearl diving and turtles to salukis, camels and desert, wadis and mountains, the region has provided much of her inspiration for writing. Published in 2003, The Pearl Diver is now read and enjoyed in Primary schools throughout the Gulf. The Pearl Diver’s Son, published in 2021, is a longer, darker, story for older readers. Both these stories were recently chosen by the Ministry of Education for its ‘Reading for Pleasure’ project and distributed to every government school in the UAE. Julia’s fascination with pearl diving led to her third story on the subject. Aisha’s Pearl is aimed at younger readers and will be published in 2022. She has now had more than 25 books published. The Leopard Boy was awarded a Kirkus star in America. Michael Morpurgo called it ‘A beautiful story, a wise and wonderfully told tale.’ The Turtle Secret won the Best International Children’s Book award at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2014. The Secret of the Cave won Best International Children’s Book award at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2019. Julia has a daughter and a son and 5 grandchildren. She loves travel and adventure, swimming and reading and going to the theatre. She’s twice leapt out of a plane in a freefall tandem skydive, and narrowly escaped the jaws of a hippo on a river safari in the Okavango!