Washtenaw County’s Julie Lawson Timmer Went from Litigator to Author at Age 45

. April 25, 2016.

Local author Julie Lawson Timmer has taken quite the journey in the past two years, from a full-time lawyer to published author. Her first novel Five Days Left hit bookshelves in September of 2014 and quickly made it to the bestseller lists in Canada, and her latest novel, Untethered, will be released in June.

Timmer started to write for several reasons. First, when she turned 45, her husband and she were discussing what they would put on their bucket list. For Timmer, she said her only regret would be if she never attempted, at least once, to try her hand at writing.

As a full time lawyer, mother and wife, she never really thought much about her writing. Although she was told by her family and friends that she really had a gift with words. But the final call came when a dear friend had contracted cancer that ultimately took her life. In the beginning Timmer started to write as a form of dealing with the loss and pain. Also, as a lawyer, her job involved strict attention to detail and lots of research.

“I often thought writing would be a great escape,” said Timmer. “With writing I felt I could take some creative liberties.” However, she found that difficult when she chooses to give one of her main characters in Five Days Left a very real and very rare disease known as Huntington’s. The more she discovered about this disease the more imperative her research became. It is, however, her strict attention to detail that make her characters so human and her stories so compelling. With fact checking, rewrites and her in depth research, it took several years before Five Days Left reached bookstores.

But Timmer says she was never discouraged; in fact her past experience as a lawyer not only helped her, but gave her thicker skin. “When I was a litigator you had to learn to take criticism. I would turn in a 50 page brief for review and it would come backed almost ALL red lined. You can’t take it personally”.

Timmer also credits her family for their never ending support. “My husband cooked, cleaned and did all the household chores for 6 people for over 2 years so that I could write in my free time. He would set up the coffeemaker to go off at 3:45 in the morning. It may seem like such a little thing, but waking up to the smell of coffee helped me to get up and write a few hours before work. My kids have also been a huge support in giving suggestions and opinions for the characters and by giving me their honest feedback.”


Lawson’s second book Untethered again blends fact into fiction so seamlessly. “Untethered is another thought provoking story,” said Lawson, “which begs the question what really makes up a family?”

Julie Lawson Timmer has certainly found her way. Whether with a debilitating disease, as in Five Days Left or questioning family bonds in Untethered, she continues to pull on heartstrings and leaves readers wanting more. Not bad for someone who suddenly because an author at age 45.

Join Julie Lawson Timmer for the release of her book “Untethered” on Tuesday, June 7th @ 7pm
Literati Bookstore, 124 E. Washington St. Ann Arbor-(734)585-5567
You may also reach out to Timmer on her website; julielawsontimmer.com


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