Julie Cassidy (she/her)
Contemporary, Rom Com, Paranormal
Julie Cassidy fell in love with books at the age of five and has been writing her own ever since. After stints as a journalist and social media manager, she now works in public relations by day and writes swoony, sexy romance novels by night.
Julie is a published author — her debut novel, Just for Show (written under her previous pen name, Julie Hamilton), was released by Carina Press/Harlequin in January 2022.
When she’s not writing, she can probably be found doing a crossword puzzle, spending too much time on social media, or watching a Real Housewives franchise. Originally from Pittsburgh, she now lives near Chicago.
Julie is represented by Eva Scalzo at Speilburg Literary Agency.
I want stories that are fun, joyful, and lighthearted. My favorite romances are full of humor and steam. Give me all the flirty banter and sexy, sweet moments between your characters. I want to smile and swoon in equal measure.
I’d love to see stories with fun twists on familiar tropes and compelling hooks. I tend to go for high concept stories, but I'm open to quieter books as well. I love books that include texts, letters, or other media (like podcasts, transcripts, articles, interviews, and social media posts) as part of the story. If your book includes travel or a vacation, those are also elements that hook me. Light speculative elements or a little bit of magic are always fun, so if you have a paranormal rom-com, don’t hesitate to send it my way.
Complex female main characters and cinnamon roll love interests are my favorite. Alpha or aggressive love interests aren’t my thing.
If your book has a high heat level, I’d love to see it! However, I read and enjoy all heat levels, so being high-heat or open-door isn’t a requirement. Consent is a must, no matter your heat level. If you want help upping your book’s heat level or advice on writing sex scenes, I can definitely help with that.
My favorite tropes:
• Fake dating or fake engagement
• Marriage of convenience
• Only one bed
• Opposites attract
• Forced proximity
• Rivals to lovers
• Road trip
• Celebrities or reality TV
• Co-workers (but no boss/subordinate relationships)
• Snowed in or stranded
• Found family
Overall, I want to see stories from authors of all races, cultures, sexualities, and gender identities, featuring characters who reflect the diverse world we live in. Seeing disabled characters on the page is also important to me, and we need more stories featuring characters with disabilities written by disabled authors.
As someone with depression and anxiety, I’d love to see mental health rep and characters who are neurodivergent. If your story has fat rep, that would also be a bonus.
What I’m not into: Dark elements in stories aren’t for me. A character having dark or difficult things in their past is fine — I’m not someone who thinks difficult topics don’t belong in rom-coms. I’m just not the best fit for dark romance. I’m also not big on angst, but some angst is okay.
I don’t want to see anything with violence, gore, sexual assault, death, cheating, car accidents, characters in the military or law enforcement, or anything that focuses heavily on the pandemic. I also don’t want to see the secret baby trope, accidental pregnancy, or any storylines involving infertility. None of these things should be on the page either in flashbacks or in the story's present timeline. Several of the items listed here are triggers for me, so I can't accept them.
I want to help my mentee grow as a writer and make them feel 100% ready to query. We can talk about the mentee's individual goals during our first meeting. I want to support my mentee in getting what they want out of this program.
I'll aim to build my mentee up while also giving constructive advice. I'll never be mean, but I also won't shy away from telling them what's not working. That said, I believe an essential part of giving feedback is also telling the writer what they're doing well. I'll never, ever send feedback that doesn't include something positive. I use the "compliment sandwich" method of critiquing. I also tend to make a lot of jokes and put silly reactions in Track Changes when I'm reading.
I'm here to answer questions, talk through ideas, and support my mentee. All I ask is that they're open to feedback and improving their manuscript. I'll offer suggestions, but my mentee doesn't have to take all of them. At the end of the day, this is their manuscript and their story, and they know it best. I want them to be confident in any changes they make.
Communication-wise, I mostly work from home so I'm permanently online. If you email me, you can expect a response within 24 hours unless I'm traveling or an unforeseen event occurs. I'm open to texts or DMs, email, or hopping on a Zoom or phone call if you have questions or want to talk through ideas. I'll follow my mentee's lead when it comes to the amount of communication they'd like and what type. If you hate talking on the phone, we can do Zoom. If you don't want to be on camera, we can talk on the phone or do an audio-only Zoom. Above all, I want my mentee to be comfortable reaching out to me and I don't want to cause any anxiety for them. Let me know what works best for you, and we can go from there.