Bonnie Phelps, Author
Meet Julia Marlowe from Julia's Star
Julia Marlowe – a sweet, small-town widow with three active children and best-selling romance novelist – has decided it’s time to step outside her comfort zone and sells the rights to one of her books to a major movie producer. “Julia’s Star” throws our heroine into the love ‘em and leave ‘em world of Hollywood and directly into the path of action hero, Jason MacKenzie. Totally out of her element, Julia is pushed to become the tough, independent woman she needs to be to support her family.
How old are you?
36 though sometimes I feel like 60. With 3 active children and a busy career as a romance novelist, the responsibility of keeping everything on track is draining.
What is your relationship status?
I’m a widow. My husband, Brian, was killed by a drunk driver 3 years ago. My life is so full, I’ve never really thought about getting serious about anyone else – until recently.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
A harried mom. A plain Jane. Someone who isn’t interested in designer clothes, the latest hairstyle, or hot makeup tips. I don’t have time to worry about things like that. I also see someone who has her head in the clouds which is why people may think I need a keeper – but really, I don’t. I am competent and capable.
Name three of your favorite things.
That’s easy. My kids, Beth – my best friend and sister-in-law who’s always there for me, and writing my books.
Name three things that tick you off.
Characters with minds of their own who head off in directions I hadn’t planned. That’s also a good thing because in the end I’m supposed to be telling their stories and need to get out of their way. People who carry on private conversations on their phones in waiting rooms and lines. People who are full of themselves and walk all over others.
What are you most afraid of?
All my life, people have been there to take care of me. My parents hovered like helicopters. My husband was the typical protector male who wanted to shield me from life’s harsh realities. When he died, Beth and her husband, moved in with me at the ranch to help out. They got me through the dark times when life was a blur. Now that they are moving out and getting their own place, I’m afraid I’ll fail the test of standing on my own and being independent. I can’t let that happen. My kids depend upon me.
Now on to something lighter, what is your favorite drink?
I live in one of California’s premier wine regions so a nice wine with dinner is a must. I also couldn’t live without my coffee. Don’t you just love the smell of fresh-brewed coffee and the warmth of the cup between your palms?
What is your favorite food?
Anything someone else cooks. I do know how to cook, but it’s something I do out of necessity not for the joy of it. I love comfort foods and would never turn down homemade mac and cheese. Oh, and I have a weakness for sweets. I almost never turn down dessert.
What was your first impression of Jason MacKenzie?
First impression? Hollywood all the way. Egotistical, a playboy with a woman on each arm and one in his bedroom, ruthless, too handsome for his own good. Not my kind of guy at all. Turns out Jason is a man of many layers – sex appeal by the boat load, money, and fame galore sure – but he also has a surprisingly sensitive side. He’s kind and thoughtful, makes me laugh, and even though he is definitely an alpha male, he doesn’t crowd me.
If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?
I always thought it would be the day my husband died. I’d have made sure he never got into that car. Now that time has passed, I realize I would not be the person I am today if he’d lived. Losing him, even though it broke my heart, made me stretch my wings. Maybe I would have changed anyway, but he made my life so easy. I will forever miss him, but I’ve discovered an inner strength I had no idea I possessed. I’m not at the soaring stage yet, but I’m not afraid to hop off the limb anymore.
Are you close to family?
Yes and no. My folks retired to Florida so visits are few and far between. I think we all realized that they needed to back off and give me space and a chance to stub my toe if I messed up. We talk regularly and I know they’d be here in a heartbeat if I needed help.
Describe a typical Friday night.
Would you believe board games or movie night? We all gather in the great room and enjoy being together. I know this won’t last forever. The kids are growing up so fast, so I plan to enjoy every second I can while they still want to be around mom.
What would make you completely happy?
I’m already doing it. I love taking care of my kids and I love telling stories. If Jason, is added to our family mix, then that would make life perfect.