An author, an attorney, and a philanthropist are just a few titles Julie Weston is known by. She is an award-winning author and the Winner of the 2017 WILLA Literary Award in Historical Fiction. Her essays and stories have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and journals, including IDAHO Magazine.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
I started as a legal secretary in high school working for a local attorney. I went to law school and became a corporate attorney. Took some classes at the University of Washington, they have a writing certificate program and I started writing there. I wrote the whole time even when I became a lawyer. Writing was more fun than writing legal ease and I just kept going. My first book was non-fiction, a memoir about growing up in a mining town. The Good Times Are All Gone Now: Life, Death, and Rebirth in An Idaho Mining Town. This is about my life in Kellogg Idaho. I have always loved and read mysteries so that is what inspired me to write mystery books.
Tell me about your first mystery book, MOONSHADOWS.
MOONSHADOWS features a woman photographer, who is based on Gerry. Gerry is a photographer and he gives me all the expertise on it. It is fun to collaborate with him. We are working on a new coffee table book, The Magical Universe of the Ancients: A Desert Journal. He did all the photography and I did the writing. It is based on the four corners area in Utah, we spent a lot of time there trekking.
How did you get published?
It took a long time, I queried agents and publishers. I joined a group called Women Writing the West and someone in the group told me about Five Star Publishing, which is an independent publisher in Maine. They publish westerns and mysteries. Five Start Publishing was starting a new fiction imprint and so I sent them MOONSHADOWS. They gobbled it up and wanted it right away.
How long have you lived or worked in Sun Valley?
Gary & I built a house 20 years ago and we have lived here full time for about 8 years, I’ve been coming here since 1963 from north Idaho, which is where I grew up. I ski and I have been skiing all my life since I was about 7 years old. I first came here it was on a train to meet my mother and sister. We used to come every summer as my father was a doctor and he had medical meetings in Sun Valley.
What other things are you doing to be involved in the community?
I have been involved in the Wood River Women’s Foundation and I just joined the Community Library Board. It is such an honor.
How long have you been married & what is your secret to a happy marriage?
We have been married almost 40 years. We were both attorneys in Seattle. Also, we both love to ski and laugh!
What do you like to do in the summer?
I used to hike quite a bit, but I don’t so much anymore because I can’t go uphill. I like to swim that is why we joined the Valley Club and our grand kids enjoy it here. So, we spend time with them.
What is your favorite restaurant in the Wood River Valley, and what do you love there?
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
I would go to Paris if I have an opportunity.
Are you a member of a book club or do you like book clubs?
I have never been in a book club until I got here. A book club member asked me to come and talk about MOONSHADOWS and then asked me to join. I am now a member of that book club.
How does the group select the books?
Well, we meet in September and all of us make suggestions. We put them together and then we vote on them. We only pick 9 or 10 to read for the year because we are all super busy.
What is something on your bucket list?
I do not have a bucket list. I live for the present, try to enjoy every day, and take what comes. There is nothing I am reaching for out there.
Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Sun Valley would you have lunch?
I would probably choose Louise Penny or Jacqueline Winspear because they both write mysteries, or maybe Michelle Obama. I would take them to Rasberrys because it’s so good and it’s quiet if you go early.
What is your favorite thing or something unique about Sun Valley?
We live in Indian Creek and it is so quiet and peaceful. So, the silence.
(Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I taught piano when I was in high school and I played flute in a band.
What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Silence, Beauty and Peace of mind.
What’s one question should I have asked you that I didn’t?
I was a single mom and put myself through law school. I was one of a few women in the class for lawyers. I had to break the barrier to become a female attorney. There were few woman attorneys in Seattle at that time.