Today I’m delighted to revisit my Five on Friday interview with Ian Wilfred which was first posted in April 2019. It’s been brought up to date to include Ian’s latest books. Ian writes uplifting feel-good fiction and is a fabulous supporter of fellow authors, and bloggers over on Twitter.
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.
Over to Ian.:
Which five 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.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you 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.
Give five pieces of advice 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 five 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.
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
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.
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
Friendships Begin in Tenerife
ELENA was leaving Lanzarote and heading to Tenerife after having been promoted to her dream job. Her life was complete, or so she thought.
VERONICA knew her life had to change after losing her husband of 50 years. She needed to carve out a new life for herself, and with a little help from her grandson Mikey, their lives were about to change forever.
FAYNA was off to visit her daughter Elena in Tenerife, the island she should have never left all those years ago.
KARINA was happy with her life, but would she be able to cope with a wonderful opportunity which comes her way?
CARLOS and SALVA are brothers who differ in many ways. However, there is something they both want, but will either succeed in getting it?
Friendships Begin in Tenerife containing secrets, romance and new beginnings, but above all it’s all about friendships
A New Start in Spain
FIONA had left her husband, Dean, after thirty years of marriage, and flown out to her friends’ villa on the coastal town of Melencia.
ELLIE’s dream of a career within the fashion industry had been shattered. A stay at her parents holiday villa was just the answer.
RAFAEL’s life had been on hold for fifteen years. Would this summer be the one where his life changed for the better?
EMILIO, a successful businessman, thought he had the world at his feet. Was he really that popular and what did life have in store for him?
JUAN, Emilio’s son, wanted to live a simple life, far away from the diving school and restaurant his father had built up.
Learn what happens when these five lives become entangled.
A NEW START IN SPAIN is an uplifting feel-good read set on the Spanish coast of Almeria – a story of friendships and new beginnings.
Finding Happiness in Spain
A meeting in a solicitor’s office was about to change Claire and Alison’s lives.
KATHLEEN had just died and left a secret in Spain.
CLAIRE had her whole life ahead of her, she had her own bookkeeping business and had just kicked out her cheating boyfriend.
ALISON had said goodbye to the husband who had gambled away their home and business.
VALDEZ lived life without a care in the world, living from one day to the next without caring about tomorrow.
MARTHA loved her little pottery shop in the Spanish hillside town of Roncia, but would she be able to cope with a new born baby?
FINDING HAPPINESS IN SPAIN is an uplifting feel-good read set on the Spanish coast of Almeria. A few secrets, a little romance and new beginnings, but above all a story about friendships.
New Beginnings in Greece
Hayley’s relationship with her partner Gary had come to an abrupt end. She knew she had important decisions to make and a holiday on the beautiful Greek island of Holkamos with her Nan would give her time to think things through.
Kostas and Eleni’s traditional Greek restaurant didn’t draw in the holidaymakers. Financially struggling, tired and looking forward to the end of the summer, how would they continue to make ends meet? How would Yannis, their adult, yet socially shy, son cope with changes to his lifestyle?
Demetrious had arrived from Athens to help decorate a friends gift shop.
Carmela, a reputable French artist who lived on Holkamos each summer had recently died leaving secrets, upsets and an important legacy.
How do all their lives entwine?
Set amongst the backdrop of the picturesque Holkamos harbour, NEW BEGINNINGS IN GREECE is an endearing tale of how long-lasting friendships, romances and business partnerships are created from chance encounters.
One Summer in Spain
Twenty-five year old Gemma is still unsure where her life is leading. Her parents are exasperated at the way in which she flits from one thing to another. A chance encounter helping Dulcie, an elderly lady who has had a fall in the street, leads to Gemma becoming housekeeper to Dulcie and her friend, Rupert.
Following a lottery win, Dulcie and Rupert rent a Spanish villa for six months and Gemma goes with them for a working holiday. It’s all one long adventure for the three of them, filled with fun days out, nights in the best restaurants and plenty of laughter.
Dario, the local taxi driver becomes fond of Gemma. Likewise, she thinks a lot of him too, but he harbours a secret.
Jamie, Dulcie’s grandson, pops over to Spain to check on his grandmother. but she’s not his only reason for visiting.
Craig, an old friend of Gemma’s, is also an acquaintance of Dulcie and Rupert. When he visits from England, Gemma’s life becomes a little uncomfortable.
How can ONE SUMMER IN SPAIN change everyone’s life? Will it be for the good, and how do their lives pan out after the six month holiday is over?
Return to Luckett Quay
Hannah’s world had fallen apart. Having split up with her cheating boyfriend, she wanted to be in a place of safety and security. The only place which provides that is with her grandmother. However, the family holiday home in Norfolk needs an injection of cash to refurbish it before the rental company will let it out. Unfortunately, neither Hannah, nor her grandmother, Betty, can afford it. Is it time to sell up and say goodbye to the happy memories of Luckett House.
Visiting Luckett Quay, Hannah catches up with her childhood friends, Olivia and Tom, builder Carl and a sly scheming Tristan who becomes the bane of her life.
Friendships form, new roles and responsibilities loom, but could a chance meeting with Josie who wants to return to Luckett Quay hold the answer to their problems?
Time to Move On
Billie was ready to celebrate her fortieth birthday, but an unexpected parcel delivery and a meeting at work changes her life forever.
Offered the opportunity to stay in a cottage in the lovely coastal resort of Saltmarsh Quay, she grabs it with both hands but what has she let herself into? A community of interfering, controlling neighbours, and one in particular, Marjorie, who not only organises events, but everyone else’s lives too.
A little chat with Marjorie’s granddaughter, Becky, changes Billie’s perspective and together they devise a plan which opens the door to many new beginnings.
How will this affect Billie’s relationships? There’s her son, Tim, returning from a gap year in Australia, Matt, the village carpenter, who she has struck up a firm friendship with and Audrey – the village rebel for more than seventy years – who also takes a shine to newcomer, Billie.
Life in Saltmarsh Quay is about to change for its residents. It’s time to move on.
My Perfect Summer in Greece
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?
Secrets We Left in Greece
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..
Goodbye, No More Excuses
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 Secret Visitor to Saltmarsh Quay
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?
Putting Right the Past
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?
The Little Terrace of Friendships
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.