I am interviewing Iris Blobel today, as part of the ‘Echoes of the Past’ blog tour.
How long have you been writing Iris?
I released my first book in 2009 after lots of edits and proofreads … I’d say it’s only been about eight years.
Why do you enjoy writing?
I think I’ve always been a day dreamer, but because I love numbers and English is my second language, I never really considered myself as a writer. But a few boring nights and I put some words onto paper… and I really enjoyed that more than knitting, painting, or exercising. The “voices” in my head haven’t stopped talking to me since.
Do you write at specific times of the day or just when you can?
With a family, work, and a once-a-week radio program, I write when I can. Sometimes too much, often not enough. I try to keep a good balance not to neglect my family, but to look after myself as well.
‘Echoes of the Past’ isn’t your first book is it? What are your other books about?
My books are all over the place, but all romance stories. I’ve got a book that was fun to write because it was set in Australia and Ireland, but gave me grey hair trying to get the correct chronological order. “Innocent Tears” is about a man who’s become a father of a little six-year-old girl literally overnight – I loved it. Then there’s my Beginnings series, which is set in one of the most beautiful places here in Australia: Tasmania, but it also has a book, which is based on our travels to the US a few years ago. My Sports series was fun to write because I finally had some really sexy guys in my story – with attitude and such!
So they’re all different, but ALL of them include the main theme of family and friendship.
Do you have a special place where you like to write?
I’ve got my very messy corner in the lounge room. My little girl gave me a little chest of drawers to get organised, but … *sigh* … as over-tidy as I am with most of the things in life, that corner will always be messy I suppose …. LOL
Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?
I usually come up with a story outline when I’m on holidays, but I am part of a group called “Tuesday Tales” where we write to a different prompt each week, I’d say my writing process is more haphazard… chaotic and not streamlined… a mess to clean up when it comes to revisions.
‘Echoes of the Past’ is a reunion romance, can you tell us a little about it?
It’s more than simply a reunion romance, it’s about Connor who’s coming back to Australia after living in London for over twenty years. And for some reason he’s not able to remember his childhood in Fermosa Bay – he can’t remember his friends, including Emily, the girl he kissed when he was seven, most importantly, he cannot remember anything about his biological father. It’s a journey of discovering his childhood, of understanding and accepting the question “what could’ve been if”, and the re-connecting with old friends.
The setting of your book is particularly appealing, how important is the setting when you write your story? Does the setting ever inspire the story?
Very important. If the setting’s not right for me, the story doesn’t flow. That’s why I usually set a story in places I’ve been to or I love. The beach, for example, or Tasmania. “Fresh Beginnings” is set in the US and it was so much fun going through my travel diary to get the ideas. I’ve just started another story, which is set in New Zealand, a place we visited last year. Can’t wait for the story to progress.
Apart from writing, do have any other things you love to do, or dedicate time to?
I do a German radio program every week … initially it was very challenging to do it, but now I love it. It’s a big thrill for me!
What writing plans do you have for 2016?
February and March are busy with new releases and all the promo work that comes with it … I’m hoping that once the promo side of things have settled a bit to finish my New Zealand book and Fermosa Bay #3.
I’ll look forward to reading those Iris, thank you for talking to us.
Here’s a more about ‘Echoes of the Past’ The first book in the Fermosa Bay series and a link to my review.
ECHOES OF THE PAST by Iris Blobel
Series: Fermosa Bay Book #1
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again…
When her childhood friend, Connor Walsh, returns home to see his ailing father, Emily is elated to be reunited with the handsome man who moved to London so many years ago. But excitement fades to disappointment when he doesn’t remember her—or their first kiss. With her crush on Connor still in full swing, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he’s in Fermosa Bay, even though she knows her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.
When Connor receives news that his biological father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, Australia.
With memories of his childhood tucked fondly in the back of his mind, returning to the small, coastal town leaves him to wonder how life would have been if his mother had never taken him away. Would he have been married and had children? Perhaps with Emily Bradshaw…
Secrets from long ago begin to unfold…
As Connor and his father grow closer, Connor learns his parents have a broken love story of their own. Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying, maybe for good? Or will he relive his parents’ tragic story and flee to London?
Walking away from a real chance at true love…
‘Connor leaned against the window frame with his arms crossed as he watched the waves crashing against the rocks. In front of him, as wide as the horizon, was the ocean. With the clouds drifting in from the sea, the sky had turned grey and dark, and he knew there’d be even more rain coming later in the day.
He would’ve enjoyed the scene if it hadn’t reminded him of his changing life. He’d been back in Fermosa Bay for two days already, but the memories of the first seven years of his life he’d spent in this small Australian coastal town were tucked away in the back of his mind. Seemingly inaccessible. Nowadays, his life was in London and had been for the last twenty-three years. He took a couple of deep breaths as he looked towards the harbour in the distance, and the small town in the alcove with the hilly forest in the background where he’d spend the first seven years of his life. It was truly one very picturesque little place.
A noise from the other end of the house hauled him back from his thoughts, and he stepped away from the window. Over the last few weeks, since he’d decided to accept Jack’s invitation to Australia, he’d had visions of what he’d find here. His mother hadn’t told him much about the time she’d lived here, except about Jack owning a pub. Connor had been furious for her lack of memory, but in the end admitted to himself it’d probably not been a time she’d like to remember.
So he was surprised to find out that Jack lived in this massive house just outside Fermosa Bay, on the top of the cliffs, with a view over the ocean. The house had five rooms and a small study at the back. The lounge room, with a high pitched ceiling, had wood fire heating and a big window front. Connor had loved the house the instant he’d stepped into it.
When he entered the hall, he saw his father and said, “Good morning, Jack.”
The old man sighed sadly. “You still can’t bring it over your heart to call me Dad?”
Connor’s gaze wandered from his father to all the many framed photos along the wall. Jack was in many of the photos, but most them had people in them he didn’t know, except the biggest one, which showed Connor as a child in Jack’s arms. A wave of sadness shook him. No, it wasn’t in him to call him Dad. Or to even think of him as his dad.
After a moment’s silence, he turned to his father and shook his head. “Sorry.”
Jack coughed, and Connor quickly rushed to his side, holding him upright.
“Another bad day?” Connor asked.
“Son, there will be no more good days. One day is like the other, until it will be the last.”
The words struck Connor deep enough to feel some emotions for his father. He knew time was running out, but hearing it made it sound final.
“There’s a front coming, but I think you’d be able to sit outside for a little while. At least until the nurse comes.”
Jack simply nodded.
Connor helped his father out onto the deck where the old man sat down on his swing seat.
Without a reply, Connor stepped away and watched the sea again.
“I couldn’t keep you away from the water when you were a child,” Jack said.
“What do you mean?” Connor asked.
Jack didn’t answer, so he turned around to look at his father. The old man stared into the distance, a withdrawn expression on his face.
“You were constantly in the water. Whatever opportunity you had, you grabbed your little board and spent most of the day there.”
“So what happened?”
His father shrugged. “You left with your mother.”
Sitting down on the chair next to Jack, Connor let out a long breath. “Something must’ve happened. I never go near water, let alone go in it.”
Still gazing into the distance, Jack said, “I still have the blue board. Ethan’s little son sometimes uses it nowadays.”
Not sure where the conversation was heading, Connor just went along. “Who’s Ethan?” he asked.
The reaction from his father wasn’t what he expected. With his shoulders sagged, Jack closed his eyes. He looked so old and frail. From what Connor saw in all the photos around the house, cancer had taken a lot of life out of his father, leaving behind a haggard body with no energy left. Initially, he’d been taken aback by their similarities in looks, with their dark brown eyes and dark blond hair, including the stubborn curl above the ears, but after all, Jack was his father.
“Ethan was your best friend when you lived here.”
Pain shot through Connor as he was again confronted with a piece of information about his past that he knew nothing about. What had happened all those years ago, that his memory blocked these recollections of his childhood?
“How is your mother?” Jack asked suddenly.
Was it a sign of his illness that the old man wasn’t able to hold on to one topic anymore, or was he out to annoy Connor?
“She’s doing well.”
Jack nodded. “She was beautiful when she lived here. So beautiful.”
Leaning forward to rest his arms on his knees, Connor asked, “Why did you ask her to leave?”
Finally, their eyes locked, and his father’s confusion took Connor aback.
“Son, what are you talking about?”’
Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.
Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.
Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.