Julie Campbell

Photo of Julie Campbell
Julie Campbell was born in 1908 in Flushing, New York. As the daughter of an Army Officer, she travelled widely during her childhood and, at the age of eight, won her first short story contest while living in Hawaii. She married Charles Tatham Jr. in 1933 and they worked together on many magazine stories and articles. Julie was living in a remodelled farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons when she began writing the 'Trixie Belden' series. Julie had her own literary agency when, in the 1940s, Western Publishing solicited authors to produce affordable mystery and adventure books for children. She proposed four series, two that would be written by herself and the others by two of her authors Hal Burton and John Henry Cutler. The series she wrote herself, 'Ginny Gordon' and 'Trixie Belden', were published under her maiden name, Julie Campbell. At the same time, Campbell stepped in to take over the 'Cherry Ames' and 'Vicki Barr’ series, written under her married name, Julie Tatham. She wrote the first six books in the ‘Trixie Belden’ series. The remaining books were continued by other authors under the pseudonym, Kathryn Kenny. Julie Campbell Tatham died in 1999 at the age of 91.

Author's Comment: On Writing:
"I plan a lot of my work ahead. I plan the plots very carefully and then I divide the book into three sections and then divide the sections into chapters and do summaries for each one. I always write my last chapters first and my first chapters last because you have to rewrite the first one a thousand times to get it right. The last chapter is vital. If there are any loose ends you better take care of them before you write the rest of the book."

On Plotting:
"I used to spend a lot of time reading newspapers and magazines, and I'd clip out little tidbits that might lead to plot ideas. Eventually, I had enormous files with clippings that had the germ of a plot in them."

On Her Characters:
"Yes [my characters are taken from real life]. I'd think of someone who had a special type of disposition and meld him or her together with maybe two or three other people and there emerges a character who is new. The character takes over and becomes a living human being. Somehow, they exist. Trixie Belden's kid brother, Bobby, was a combination of my kid brother and my younger son...I can talk about my characters without any sense of pride or egotism because to me they are real people. They get involved in a plot I devise, and they make it come to life. If you don't feel that way, then they are just stick figures.

I put my heart and soul into those books.

Nationality: American

Featured series by Julie Campbell

Trixie Belden - Age 8 & up