Julie L. Cannon, a novelist, started her writing career when she entered a contest with The Flagpole, which lead to the publication of her first book in 2001, Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of Cedar Shoals High School and the University of Georgia, both in Athens, Georgia, she and her husband had three children. She was a member of Watkinsville First United Methodist Church. Cannon was known for her reserved persona and Southern friendliness.
At her death, the popular author had published six books and completed a seventh manuscript. Besides the “Homegrown” trilogy, Cannon wrote I’ll Be Home for Christmas in 2010, a book that centers around a woman’s unexpected death. Her stories were imbued with Southern characters facing everyday challenges from love to poor health and old age. The last of Cannon’s novels published during her lifetime, Twang, was released in August 2012, with a book signing at the Oconee County (Georgia) Library. A large group attended, including her parents, Robert and Gloria Lowrey of Athens. During an interview with the Athens Banner-Herald in August 2012, Cannon talked about her love of country music and her latest book about a young woman who heads to Nashville for a shot at stardom. The song that Cannon, who often blended God’s mercy in her stories, felt was a fitting theme for Twang was “Jesus and Mama Always Love Me.”
Cannon died unexpectedly Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at her home in Watkinsville, Georgia. News of her death came as a shock to those in writing circles who followed her career. The 50-year-old’s death may have been related to a bicycle wreck that happened on Milledge Avenue in Athens, when she was a student at the University of Georgia, said her husband, Tom Cannon. In later years, the brain injury she suffered then made her susceptible to seizures. “I suffered a serious brain injury from a bicycle wreck, and thus, I cannot drive and have occasional neurological issues,” she once wrote in a blog for her website.