About Julie Luongo

Julie Luongo - #1 Best Smelling Author

Julie Luongo - #1 Best Smelling Author

One day, instead of writing the newspaper article I was assigned, I wrote a short story. It was fun and the story was pretty good. So, I wrote some more stories, and I got them critiqued by a real writer. I took those stories and got into grad school for Creative Writing where I learned some things about rigor and technique. I also made some cool friends and went to readings and wore black and went to Rome and learned how to order delicious food and chat with sleek Roman men in Italian.

After I graduated, I started teaching smart college students how to write and research. Those were dark days. I believe teaching is a calling, and it was calling the wrong number when I answered. To make matters worse, my students were good writers. And I was spending all of my time helping them get better. (I was doing other things too – researching, marketing, writing business documents.) I wasn’t happy.

I wanted to write a book. So, I quit my jobs and moved out of my sweet apartment in Philadelphia. My dog and I went to a cabin in the woods without running water or electricity, and I wrote my first novel, The Hard Way, in 6 weeks.

I sent the book to the most superb agent I could find, and she liked it. She signed me. Then she pounded the pavement and sold it. And now I’m the writer I always dreamed I’d be…wait, I didn’t always dream I’d be a writer. I’m the writer I never dreamed I’d be.

If you’re interested in knowing more about me, go to my blog. I’m usually jawing about something there. Oh, and thanks for reading.


  1. Matthoew said,

    September 13, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Your blog ROCKS! Yo go girl, can’t wait for the book to hit the stores… Remember, I knew you when…

  2. Sandra Luongo said,

    September 14, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    As your step-mom and admirer, I am deeply grateful to have you in my life. You tell the truth like no other. I also have a pain in my side from laughing.

  3. September 15, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Jules, dahlink… you DO rock! I’m so delighted that you are here on the world wide web. And I have clicked to get Julie in my mailbox (although nothing happens after I click there so I may be getting “Julie in my mailbox” three times a day).

    This is a fantastic blog and I am sending the link to all my friends – many of them NEED to read you.

    all our love, R&R

  4. Dooners Mom said,

    September 16, 2006 at 8:00 am

    The next event to get excited about – Julie’s book!

  5. Goldy said,

    September 16, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Hey Jules, big brother in law here, just wanted to let you know i am here at Barnes and Noble books, outside, waiting for your book to arrive.
    I feel a little weird telling people that im waiting for Julie Luongos “The Hard Way, but as people go into the store i give them a flyer. The tent im living in is really nice. Please stop by.
    Love ya, Goldy

  6. Alice (cousin, not mom) said,

    September 27, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    thanks for making me laugh today – you’re terrific

  7. September 30, 2006 at 10:09 am

    As a jealous former classmate, let me first state that I hate you for publishing a book before me and note that I got an A in that God-awful class on James Joyce whilst I slept soundly and you all listened.

    As a friend, let me state that I am so buying your book even if it will lower my testosterone levels by a minimum of 20 percent. And I don’t have that much testosterone to give, Jules, so just know that I am making a sacrifice here.

  8. julieluongo said,

    September 30, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    But I love James Joyce as a result. I think he would have liked that you slept in a course about him. It’s very Finnegans Wake of you. Get it?

    Don’t let the female character or niche marketing fool you. My book’s fun for all. More like Nick Hornby than Helen Fielding.

  9. Patti (Luongo) Brennan said,

    October 21, 2006 at 7:16 am

    Hi Julie,

    Remember me, your first cousin once removed? Just making sure since it’s been awhile. Can’t wait to read your book – I’ll get it from the library first and if I like it I’ll buy it! Hope you have moved out of the woods – the unibomber lived in the woods without electricity and water – he was also a writer. When everyone knows who you are please do a book signing in Pittsburgh – I don’t want you to get here and nobody show up. I’m proud of you!

    Love, Patti

  10. Jenn said,

    October 21, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Julie, I am still bitter about the film class you got into leaving me stuck in Victorian lit, and I am sure Phil will back me up on this. Although, Victorian lit isn’t that bad when all you do is write fiction in it.

  11. January 25, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Dang! You go! Remember me? I think you do. I think I might be that friend in college who sent poetry to literary magazines. Either way, it was silly. Congrats Julia! I put you in one of my unpublished novels becuase I believed we’d live forever. It was the best I could do. I keep you in a frame, the same one from college, on my desk. In the photo you are lying on my dorm room window sill in the shape of a V and I had been sitting in the doorway blowing my cigarette smoke into the hallway. I was reading my poems to you and just before I snapped the shudder I had asked you if you thought I’d be famous someday. Of course, you said to me. Of course I’d grow up to be a famous writer. …..not so much. I keep the picture because I loved you. Because you cleared the cobwebs and spiders when my thoughts became too sticky through which to navigate. Okay, enough sputter. I’d love to hear from you. And I’m glad to have found you.

  12. julieluongo said,

    January 26, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Indeed, folks, here’s the poet who showed me that no one will buy your stuff unless you send it out there into the world. Sweet. Saranne!

  13. spanky said,

    February 16, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Julie this portion of your blog reminds me of things that people would write in my year book. Kinda funny. Well since I dont actually know you and you did stay in a cabin with no water or anything (which i think is more than people go for on survivor) I would have to say that I admire your finesse. Please remember me when you sell the movie rights…id like to be optioned to re work the manuscript lol heheheheh

  14. julieluongo said,

    February 16, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I know! This section cracks me up!

  15. Oh, Careen! said,

    February 22, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Wow, your family sure has high standards: your cousin MAYBE will buy your book if it’s good enough?! (although I have my doubts on whether or not some of my hillbilly cousins know what fiction is).

    I started reading your book yesterday, and am about halfway through. It’s REALLY good. (So good, in fact, that I just googled you and came across your blog.) I really identify with a lot of what I’ve read so far, and I feel like we’ve all had our “Todd” phases.

    I also am torn between the worlds of New York and Philadelphia, and it seems Philadelphia has won me over . . . let me know if you have any readings/events in the city!

  16. julieluongo said,

    February 22, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    There’s no free ride in my family. They’ll wait until the reviews are out. They’re not buying garbage. So, thanks for the mid-book review. I’m going to use it to help persuade my people to buy it.

  17. Dave Luongo said,

    May 12, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Well Julie, As another one of your cousins like Patti I was seaching the web and found you. Obviously you take after the Luongo and have your dads brains. We are a creative bunch aren’t we. I haven’t seen your gram for a while but I’m sure she’s proud of you as well as your dad and Sandy. Keep up the good work. Maybe you could make it on survivor!!! Bye

  18. Marialucia Luongo said,

    September 9, 2007 at 6:48 am

    I am an italian cousin,daughter of Alfonso Luongo(brother of Romeo,Mario and Elvira)
    I am moving to New York for teaching italian language and I would like to write the history of my grandfather Michele Luongo.
    Can help me?Please write me
    Marialucia Luongo

  19. Kristen Luongo said,

    October 1, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Just googled my last name and was surprised to see how many Luongo’s there are. Just stopping to say hey! I wonder if we are related?

  20. julieluongo said,

    October 2, 2007 at 12:59 am

    And we’re all so cool.

  21. AL LUONGO said,

    November 7, 2007 at 10:52 pm


  22. Oprah Boy said,

    November 7, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    A lot of Drechsels are mormons. I’m not though. I’m a moron. BIG difference.

  23. November 8, 2007 at 8:30 am

    1m, 2 m’s – whatever!

  24. Scott Pierce said,

    November 13, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve known you for quite a while. Like Elementary School. And most of your bio is completely new to me. And I still have postcards from you that were sent from Cali back in the day. I know this because I moved last year and came across stuff that I thought I had lost and stuff I thought I had thrown away. Not your postcards though so don’t think that, please.

    Anyway, not sure of all my rambling here. I am hungry and my lower back is killing me. Maybe that is why I can’t seem to get my ass up off the chair and am wondering the internets searching for a way out. I should have taken the red pill.

  25. bibomedia said,

    February 29, 2008 at 6:28 am


  26. Lois Illar said,

    March 18, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I ordered my copy. Aunt Rose told me about because I always ask about my cousin Dans girls. I truly wish you the best, don’t we have a talented family. I can’t wait to read the book. See you on May 10th I hope.
    God Bless,

  27. julieluongo said,

    March 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks, Lois!

  28. Lindsay said,

    June 14, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Are you Lucy? And if so, may we be friends? I’m a … ahem … journalist (reporter maybe), and bought your The Hard Way at a book sale in our lobby. It’s excellent and has gotten me through the lulls of the last week. Oh, and I love Lucy.
    -Lindsay, Denver

  29. julieluongo said,

    June 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks, Lindsay. I’m glad you love her. I do too. She’s swell and much funnier than I am. I could use a friend like her … you know, for the lulls.

  30. Gary said,

    June 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    or the lulz

  31. julieluongo said,

    June 15, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Ha! Nice pun.

  32. Alisa Luongo said,

    October 16, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    ah! we have the same last name!!
    i just stumbled across your page in a random search.
    cool stuff!

  33. julieluongo said,

    October 16, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    And I have a sister Lisa who I’d love to introduce you to. It would go like this – “Lisa, Alisa. Alisa, Lisa.” And then I’d introduce you both to Lisa Lisa. That would go, “Alisa, Lisa, Lisa Lisa. Lisa Lisa, Lisa, Alisa.” Whew.

  34. Gary said,

    October 16, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Julie can you introduce me to the Cult Jam?

  35. julieluongo said,

    October 17, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Only if you changed your name. Let’s see what would be most fun. Maybe if you were called “sultan” or “king of Siam” I’d do it. Or Gram-gram, that would be excellent.

  36. Danielle said,

    October 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Thanks so much for coming to the book club. We had a blast! You’re a great writer! We look forward to having you back in teh NEAR future for your next book! Now get to the cabin and bang out another book!

  37. julieluongo said,

    October 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Cool. Thanks, Danielle. That was fun.

  38. Guy Luongo said,

    October 27, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Hello….Thought I would say hi. Pretty cool to find out about the street named Luongo. Thought I would add that my side of the Family arrived in the US in 1878 to Philadelphia.

  39. Lenny Luongo said,

    October 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Julie:
    I’m a little late with this. LOL Grandma Carmella Luongo, your Dad ( I still call him Danny ) and my Grandma, used to say your Dad and me would be late for our own funeral.
    You could probably write a book about what we put that poor woman thru. LOL We practically lived at her house during the summer when we were kids. Among the many things we did was the time she took us to the Court Theater for a double feature cowboy movie. She fell asleep and after the movie we didn’t want to wake her, so we left and started the long walk home. As you know your Grandpap, Uncle John, was a Washington, PA. Police LT. and the whole police department was out looking for us. Uh oh. LOL

    When I buy your book ( did I mention that I am late for everything ) I was going to show the clerk my driver’a license with our same last name. I think I’ll show my police credentials so the clerk will think I’m a tough guy buying a girl book as a present for someone. LOL

    PS: Remember when your Dad sent me an atricle about him being given an award for being a volunteer fireman for 40 years and I said to him, you got an award for 40 years of showing up? Your daughter has a book that was published. Now that’s an accomplishment.

  40. julieluongo said,

    October 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I never heard that story about your grandmother and the movie theater. That poor woman.

    As punctuality goes, Danny’s improved. Although, his house is only a few blocks from the firehouse. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t dedicate 40 years of my life to fighting fires…mostly because I’d sleep through fire calls. Oh, and in 40 years I’ll be in my late 70s.

    I don’t think your tough-guy image is at stake. But if you’re worried, just wear one of your weight lifting champion t-shirts to the bookstore.

  41. Todd said,

    January 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Amazing. You turn your back for a decade or two and people turn into authors while you aren’t paying attention.

  42. julieluongo said,

    January 21, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I was going to spend the time collecting key chains, but that requires stamina … and dedication. So, what the hell. I went with the default choice.

  43. Derrik said,

    March 26, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Hey Julie,
    Just wanted to drop you a compliment. I enjoy your writing. I stumbled across your Blog when, for some reason, I needed to refresh my memory on the whole Dan Rather-“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” backstory, and my search eventually ended up here. I’m an ex-newspaper reporter, who is trying to write that first novel as well — if I ever get time to finish it. Anyway, good luck with everything.

  44. julieluongo said,

    March 26, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Very cool. Not many people know about the Dan Rather – Donald Barthelme connection. I know this because I mention it at parties and gatherings and no one ever joins in … or even seems to really care, come to think of it.

    If you like this blog, you’ll love my novel. Just saying. It’s marketed for women, but that’s just the dress they crammed it in before putting it on the shelf.

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