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My new book
Drawing Outside the Lines:
A Julia Morgan Novel

will launch on October 18!

Pre-orders available Now


Praise for Drawing Outside the Lines

 “…Austin uses extensive research, including the expertise of a Julia Morgan scholar, to craft an inspiring origin story ideal for young readers… Thoroughly researched and sweetly written.”
Kirkus Reviews


“Austin imagines Julia Morgan’s life with authority.  She makes an important historical figure accessible to us.  Drawing Outside the Lines makes us see and feel what Morgan was up against, which makes her spectacular work all the more impressive.”
— Gennifer Choldenko, Author of Al Capone Does My Shirts 


Susan Austin’s deep research makes her imagined story of Julia Morgan’s early life and influences plausible—even more accurate than some of the biographies out there. But Austin’s passion for the subject of this trailblazing architect makes the story fun and inspiring.”
— Karen McNeill PhD, author of Parisian Foundations: Julia Morgan at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 1896-1902


“A compelling story with a wealth of evocative details offers a memorable telling. Woven into the story are Julia Morgan’s ability, persistence, and ambition…an inspiration for any reader.”
Joan Schoettler, Author of  Ruth Asawa: A Sculpting Life 


“Diligent research and a rich imagination make Susan Austin’s new book on the young Julia Morgan a pleasure to read for all ages. This book is a charming introduction to a great woman architect.”
— Sarah Gill, author of Julia Morgan’s Berkeley City Club


“Drawing Outside the Lines opens a window into another time and place. The rich descriptions of life in Oakland, California in the early 20th Century presents readers with a window into the remarkable life of Julia Morgan who challenged gender discrimination to follow her dream of becoming an architect. The added bonus is the rich historical backdrop carefully researched and presented through the imagined story of Morgan’s early life. Readers will find mirrors in Julia’s story as she describes wanting something different—something that doesn’t fit the norms of the time and place. This wonderful story encourages us to take a stand and follow our dreams—it is indeed a story for our time—one of inspiration and perseverance. A must read!
Margit E. McGuire PhD, Former President of National Council for the Social Studies 


“This is a simple and splendidly constructed story, history and inspiration at a human scale. Susan Austin expertly weaves together fact and educated conjecture into a memorable tapestry of the formative years of a remarkable woman.”
— Steven Finacom, Past President, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association

* * *

Happy Birthday, Julia!
Let’s celebrate 150 Years Since Your Birth

Julia Morgan in High School

Photo Credit: Julia Morgan Papers,
Special Collections and Archives,
California Polytechnic State University.

Julia Morgan, High School (1887-1890)

Julia Morgan was born 150 years ago, on January 20, 1872. How did a young girl, born in the Victorian era when marriage and family were all she could hope for, become a legendary architect? Defying all expectations for girls, Julia chose her own path and succeeded brilliantly.

I am  delighted to share the story of young Julia Morgan with you in Drawing Outside the Lines: A Julia Morgan Novel, to be launched by Spark Press on October 18, 2022. Happy Birthday, Julia. It’s been an amazing 150 years since your birth. May your beautiful buildings live on for at least another 150 years.

The old typewriter
Photo credit: Stonehenge Designs