The Writing Life of: Ian Wilfred
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Ian Wilfred. Ian will be sharing with us detail of his writing life, telling us all about his latest book ‘The Little Terrace of Friendships’, which was released on 28th March 2017, and answering a few fun questions too.
So without further ado I’ll hand you over to Ian
Ian Wilfred is 50+ but in his head he will always be 39. He lives on the Norfolk coast with his husband and west highland terrier. His perfect day would be to walk the dog on the beach, drink lots of coffee and write, but in real life after walking the dog, Ian goes off to work.
His first book Putting Right The Past was published in 2013 and set on the island of Tenerife. The Little Terrace of Friendships is Ian’s second book.
1) As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a child, you’ve got me thinking. There was a time I can remember when I wanted to work in a shoe shop, it never happened, but I suppose that there’s still time!
2) Who were your favourite childhood authors?
As a child we had lots of Reader’s Digest books in the house, they were short and always different. I could not tell you author names, or the titles, but I seemed to remember they were quiet exciting, and grown up for a child to read. As a teenager I discovered the wonderful Mills and Boon books, I was hooked. I still am.
3) At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
It just sort of happened. I had always written for pleasure and then I got the opportunity about four years ago to publish my first book, Putting Right The Past, with Matador publishing House.
4) How did you go about following that dream?
The internet. I had a story and I wanted to publish it. Over many, many, months it went to and fro with editors etc. Finally in 2013 it was published.
5) What is your writing day like? Do you aim for a certain amount of pages or words before you stop for the day?
Jumping from 2013 to the present day, I have a very blessed life. I’m up early between five and six, I get on the old Twitter and I like to wish authors a happy publishing day if they have a book coming out. It’s then my favourite part of the day, I take the dog for a walk on he beach. I then return home for a little bit more Twitter, then I write. Sadly that stops in the late afternoon as I have to go to work.
6) Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I’ve never been asked this before, but yes I did. As I write female fiction I was told I should write under a female name but decided against it. I like my own name, so that’s what I use.
7) Do you have any strange habits before starting, or whilst in the midst of writing?
I have no strange habits, but drink lots of coffee and dive straight in.
8) Do you write longhand, typewriter, or on a computer?
On my laptop. It’s actually one of the small notepad models.
9) How many books have you written? Do you have any unpublished work?
I’ve published two novels, but I’ve part written dozens more. Over the last year I’ve been reading most of the stuff I’ve started, and I’m trying to rewrite some things that are a complete jumble.
10) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Well, I have an idea and I then I just see where it takes me. I have read several interviews with the fabulous Milly Johnson and she says just keep writing, don’t go back over anything until you’ve written, ‘The End’. So that what I do now.
11) Do you read all the reviews left for your book(s)?
I do read the reviews, though I don’t get upset by bad ones. I would love everyone who has read my books to love them, but that’s never going to happen. I’m 50+ I don’t have time to get upset. I want to enjoy writing more. Onward and upwards as they say.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – Createspace
Pages – 322
Release Date – 28th March 2017
ISBN 13 – 978-1544801308
Format – ebook, paperback
Maggie Hosking is in her early sixties, and she lived in Devon with a husband who never worked and took her for granted. But now Maggie is going to have an adventure of a lifetime taking her to London, New York and Martha’s Vineyard.
All her working life Maggie has been a cleaner in hotels and private homes. Maggie cleaned for actress Helen Heacham’s parents until their deaths, when Helen moved Maggie up to London to take care of her home. Helen lives in a beautiful terrace in Kensington along with famous and not so famous neighbours. Actors, writers, models and businessmen; they all seem to need a cleaner and that’s when Maggie’s adventure starts.
It’s not just Maggie’s life that’s changing but big things are happening for the other residents in the terrace; success, romance and fraud, but most of all friendship.
12) How long did it take you to get from the idea’s stage to your date of publication?
With ‘Putting Right the Past’, it took forever going to and fro, but with ‘The little Terrace of Friendships’, it didn’t take too long.
13) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
Now this is a good question, and not one I’ve been asked before in an interview. At the 11th hour my main character’s name changed, on the advise of my editor. She sounded younger than the name I used so Mable, became Maggie.
14) Can you give us an insight into your main character(s) life?, What makes them tick?
My main female characters are over 50 and have gotten to that point in their lives where enough is enough. They want to have a bit of fun, and that is what seems to happen for them.
15) Which was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest scene I have written was in my first book. A character died at a party as a song is sang. I found that hard to write. The song was the Beverly Knight hit, ‘No One Ever Loves In Vain’.
16) How did you come up with the title of your book?
Hours of thinking up stupid titles. Eventually I went back to where the bulk of the story is set and that’s how it became, The Little Terrace Of Friendships.
17) Did you get a family member/friend to read your work before sending to the publishers?
No not this time. No friends or family knew about it until it was published, apart from the other half whom I had told a couple of weeks prior to release.
18) What process did you go through to get your book published?
The lovely author, Debbie Viggiano, introduce me to the fabulous Rebecca Emin, who basically got me through every stage. I always say, I wrote the story and Rebecca added the magic.
19) What did you do once you had written the final word in your book?
Panic, because that’s when the real work starts. Rewrites, and everything that goes with it.
20) What’s next for you, writing-wise?
I have started three stories that I’m so excited about. They are completely different from my other books. I’m more excited about one of them then I ever have been before, plus it is set in beautiful Norfolk.
1) What’s your favourite food?
There is only one, it has to be cheese. Any sort, but top of the list would be Stilton.
2) If you had a box of crayons and you could only choose one, which colour would you choose?
It would have to be a bright one. Either yellow, orange, or red.
3) What movie could you watch over and over again?
Another easy answer, Pretty Woman, followed by Steel Magnolias, and then Beaches.
4) What would be the top song on your playlist?
This is difficult as I love so many different types of music, but I will go for anything by Gladys Knight.
5) If you won millions, what would be your first purchase?
A bigger home so I could have a room/office to write in.
6) A talking duck walks into your room wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, whats the first thing he says to you?
“Can I make you a cup of tea?”
You can find out more about Ian by visiting the website/social media sites below.
I would like to say a big thank you to Ian for sharing with us details of his writing life, and for a wonderful interview.