Today I’m delighted to introduce romantic novelist Ian Wilfred who I applaud for breaking the stereotype of a typical ‘romance’ writer. I know that there are other male romance writers, but not all bravely publish under their real name/gender. I ‘met’ Ian on Twitter where he is always supportive and friendly and it would be lovely to say hello in real life at some stage. I will admit to being more than a little bit in love with his dog Lottie (before I discovered Jack Russells I always wanted a Westie).
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 and is a member of the Romantic Novelist Association.
Ian’s debut novel ‘Putting Right The Past’ was published in 2013 and is set on the island of Tenerife. In 2017 he published ‘The Little Terrace Of Friendships’ followed by ‘Secrets We Left In Greece’ in 2018.
In 2019, Ian returned to the Greek island of Holkamos for his new book ‘My Perfect Summer In Greece’.
So over to Ian:-
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Lulu – Independence. I remember this song from holidays in the Canary Islands and it always brings back happy memories. I’m also a huge Lulu fan, she was the first really famous singer I saw in concert back in the early seventies.
Gladys Knight – The One and Only. There’s not a song I dislike by Gladys so I had to choose one and this one was sung at mine and the husband’s wedding – very special.
Shirley Bassey – The Performance Of My Life. Another fabulous diva and this comes from one of her last albums, which is one of my cooking too albums. A glass of wine preparing dinner and Shirley blasting out is the perfect end to the day.
Kylie – I Should Be So Lucky. Not the original version but the slowed down, cut back, acoustic one – something else we chose for the wedding. That said, there are so many Kylie tracks I could have chosen for you.
Bette Midler – From A Distance. Another fabulous lady and so many songs to choose from but the words to this song are very special.
As you can see I do love my divas with perfect songs for what ever mood I’m in.
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Top of the list has to be Lottie, my Westie. As a kid I was never allowed a dog but when we moved to the Norfolk coast it was the first thing on my wish list. I would not be without her, she’s very precious.
The beach – we are very lucky, we only live a five-minute walk from the beach so apart from days when it’s raining I walk on it every day with the dog and count my blessings every day.
Cheese – what better food is there than cheese? You can keep chocolate and sweets just give me a pound of cheese and a jar of full fat mayo and I’m in heaven. The law in our house is, if there is cheese in the fridge it has to be eaten!
Books – I love my books and I expect everyone who reads your blog understands why. A life without books would be tragic.
Twitter – well my name is Ian and I’m addicted to Twitter! But I do set myself some rules. I don’t get involved with religion or politics, and never get into arguments. In my Twitter world everything is happy – not enough hours in the day for negativity.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
What would I have told a younger me this is difficult:-
Not to take life so seriously.
Have a bit more confidence.
Make sure to have a good work life balance.
Don’t worry about what other people think.
Step outside your comfort zone.
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
In my two Greek books set on the island of Holkamos (which is a made up island), when you read the place and descriptions of the island they are very, very similar to Parga.
I once lived and worked on Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
I worked in a hotel in the UK that had dozens of actors staying most nights – if only those hotel rooms could talk! Though I did know some of their secrets.
The older I get the less TV I watch. I can’t watch anything with shouting, arguing or fighting – in my world everything is a song and a dance.
Before I go to sleep I have an imaginary list that I have to check off in my head. I move things that haven’t been done on to the following day’s list. I do get teased about this from family and friends.
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucket list. I suppose the big thing was to move to the coast which we did five years ago, but, if I had an endless pot of money to keep spending:-
I would love to charter a huge ship for family and friends and spend a long summer sailing around the beautiful Greek Islands. Sunshine, fabulous food, lots of laughs and a smashing tan
Also it would be lovely to have a nice house on a Greek island, with a sea view of course.
Something else that would be rather nice if money was in great supply would be to fly around the world to see all the big divas performing live on stage Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, and Diana Ross. I could go on and on.
Thank you so much for letting me be on Five on Friday Jill. I think to sum me up is quite simple, I love to walk the dog on the beach, eat vast amounts of cheese and love listening to all the big divas sing. Add some red wine to that and Mr Wilfred is in a very happy place.
Thanks so much for joining us Ian, it’s been great discovering more about you. Your avoidance of conflict and love of life just confirms what a kind person you are. The world would be a much better place, if more people were the same. Here’s hoping you one day come into money so you get the chance to see your divas or move to Greece. On the other hand, I suspect you’d still be quite happy with your family and friends, books, Lottie and a nice hunk of cheese.
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Family Friendships and New Beginnings.Cheryl is excited her sister Julie has asked for her help in organising her wedding but things aren’t turning out the way Cheryl had hoped. There’s going to be no little village church and no bridesmaids dress; the wedding is taking place on the Greek island of Holkamos.Vangelis has the perfect beach location for a wedding but his little beach cafe has never catered for weddings before. Will he be able to cope with all of Julie’s demands?Andréas has moved back to Holkamos to help run the family gift shop after the death of his father. The business has to move with the times but will his mum allow things to change?Johnny is Cheryl’s best friend. He doesn’t like the way Julie treats her and has a plan to put things right but is it the right thing for Cheryl and what happens when they both arrive on the Greek island. Could it become more than just a weekend wedding for Cheryl and Johnny?
Treasured memories and hidden secrets follow three generations returning to their favourite holiday destination – the beautiful Greek island of Holkamos – after a long absence.
Every year, Miriam, her daughter, Heather, and young granddaughter Amy would spend the long summer holidays enjoying the picturesque scenery, visiting local landmarks and integrating with the local community. However, life had moved on, and now with Amy having grown up, married and set up her own business, Miriam suddenly decided to take her family back to this idyllic holiday location.
This news brought back poignant memories for all three of them. Thoughts of love and romance combined with dilemmas, choices and a cocktail of emotions would force life to never be quite the same again.
Is it always wise to revisit memorable locations? Should the past remain in the past?
Learn how Miriam, Heather and Amy all confront their secret fears.
Discover whether previous friendships and relationships stand the test of time.
Add in the intriguing stories of newcomers whose lives intertwine with the family trio. and how events of the past, present and future merge to form unexpected outcomes..
Caroline and Paul had been married for 20 years. Although they loved each other as much as the day they first met, their relationship had run into problems and Caroline knew she couldn’t continue with it any longer.
Leo is Caroline’s flamboyant gay friend who helps her to make a new start. Before long they become the talk of Norfolk and the hot new people to know.
Paul is devastated to lose Caroline and knows that if he wants to win her back he must change certain things in his life.
When John, George and Ringo enter their lives it’s not just their careers that are on the up, but romance also comes knocking at the door.
A warm welcome to Saltmarsh Quay!
Devel Devonshire is a famous Hollywood actress and has been for forty plus years. Recently life started to change for her. Why is she in England, hiding at Saltmarsh Quay, and what is her big secret?
David was recently divorced from his wife, who left him for one of his best friends. He should be sad but he isn’t as he has another love in his life; the five star hotel he manages in Norfolk.
Saltmarsh Cliff is one of the top Hotels in Norfolk but life for the staff and the hotel is going to change forever. Or is it?
Carole Harding is in her 50s. She divorced her husband after he cheated on her with a prostitute. She hated her life – working in a Bristol supermarket – and the only exciting thing she’d done was to go on holiday (to Scotland in a caravan).
Then she inherited 2 million pounds.
Now she lives in an apartment in a plush complex in Tenerife, but it seems all her neighbours have problems and Carole finds herself helping to change their lives…
Nadean is the actress who hit the headlines and had to go into hiding; Victoria, a model, why did her family turn against her? Hamilton spent his life traveling the world, earning so much money, but was so lonely; Riley gave up everything for love… Then there are Peter and Paul, who only seem to be happy when having a crisis and Jeremy – who has secrets from his wife and from the law.
As Carole gets involved with the lives of her neighbours, she blossoms into the woman she’d always longed to be… when she meets Robson, can Carole make the biggest transformation of her life?
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.
You can keep up to date with Ian via Twitter