Julia Gousseva has been writing since she was a little girl in Moscow, Russia, when her grandmother gave her an old leather-bound journal with yellowed pages. The first half of the journal was filled with stories and poems that her grandmother wrote when she was still in school. “Now, it’s your turn to continue writing stories,” she said.
Years later, Julia revised and published some of the stories she wrote in that journal as Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood, a collection of short stories that portray a magical and innocent time oblivious to political regimes and problems. Her grandmother, a typical Russian babushka, is a prominent character in the book. Babushka is taking care of children, of her beloved red roses, and is proper in all respects. Thus, when the two little girls in her care end up in a precarious situation in the middle of Gorky Park, babushka has to compose herself before taking decisive action.
She loves Russian folklore and its unique characters: Baba Yaga the Russian Witch, the magical Firebird, Leshi the Woodsprite, and many others. To help today’s kids enjoy the ancient wisdom of Russian fairy-tales, Julia wrote Adventures of Alex and Katie series where two American kids travel into the world of Russian fairy-tales through a magical fireplace.
Julia was born and raised in Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union, and even today Russia remains a mystery not only to the West, but to its own people as well. Julia’s history professors referred to Russia as a country with unpredictable past because every time a new leader came to power, all history books were revised and rewritten. Julia’s Russian Bodyguard Series is set against the backdrop of Russia’s dramatic history.
Julia’s stories have been published in Highlights for Children Magazine and in a number of Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, such as Life Lessons from the Cat, Messages from Heaven and Other Miracles, and Angels All Around.
In addition to being a writer, Julia teaches a variety of critical thinking, critical reading, and writing classes. Julia and her family live in the American Southwest.