Monday Musings is back from summer hiatus, and is pleased to host fellow author, Iris Blobel, as she talks about her latest book, New Beginnings.
Welcome, Iris. It’s lovely to have you. Please tell us about yourself.
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.
Australia’s on my very long travel list, and I hope to make it there one day. Do you live in a city or small town, and what places do you most like to visit?
We live in a small place about 100 km west of Melbourne. I’m very blessed to have a husband who likes to travel just as much as I do, so we travel often with our two girls … and there are so many beautiful places still to visit.
Hubby and I love travelling too – if only we had more time and money! What’s your favorite season? Why?
I used to like summer, but it’s become a season of extremes – either extremely hot or cold. So I’m settling for spring and autumn. Both seasons are beautiful as the scenery around changes. I love it.
Spring and fall are my best seasons, as well. What’s your favorite genre to read? Is this also the genre you write?
I love crime / mystery stories, but, no, my books are romance stories. I wish I’d be able to write crime, but the few attempts have failed miserably. J
I’m with you there. Love to read mysteries, would be horrible at writing them. Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?
No – I write when I have time and when I feel like it. I need to be in the mood for spending time with my characters. They’re demanding and always want to head into a different direction … I need a lot of patience for that J
Patience is a writer’s best friend, at least that’s what I’ve been told. What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Never give up and never take short cuts. Your time to shine will come soon.
Wise words, indeed. When did you first become published?
In 2011 – didn’t you hear my scream of delight ??
Oh, that’s what that joyful sound was! I wondered. How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I think I’ve written about 15 now, with approximately 12 or so published. A favourite one? Hard to tell. It’s a bit like with children, they’re all different, but you love them each as they are. I do have to say, I can’t wait, though, for my next story to be published. I love the characters and the setting.
Fifteen! Well done. And well said, too. I feel the same about my kids and my books. What comes first, plot or characters?
Depends – often I have a place in mind where I’d like the story to be, but then I have a character I’d like to write a story around, usually a “spin off”.
Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Life … but most of my ideas come to me when we travel … and we travel a bit fortunately. It’s interesting to watch people when they’re out of their daily routine. That’s when my mind starts to wonder and wander…
Oh, I do the same – spinning little stories about random people I see. Such fun! Is it difficult or easy for you to come up with titles and character names?
Titles are very tricky. We know we “judge a book by its cover”, but at the same time we judge a book by its title as well. I’m terrible when it comes to titles. My girls have helped me often.
Lucky for you to have the input. That’s a chore I struggle through by myself. What’s the best thing about being a writer? What do you like the least?
I love writing and as I always say, I love bringing couples together. I know it sounds corny, but with so much violence in the world, I love hiding away to write my little romance book. And to know that there are a few readers who love reading my story makes me incredibly happy.
What I don’t like … the promotion of it L
Not corny, but a sweet and lovely notion. Don’t get me started on the bane of promotion. Ugh! Tell us about New Beginnings?
Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.
Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.
But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.
Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?
Intriguing! We’d love to read an excerpt.
Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.
Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”
“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”
Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”
Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”
The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.
Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.
Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”
Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.
With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”
He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”
Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”
He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.
Only a week earlier, Sophie had received the call from Mr. O’Connor telling her about an inheritance. Initially, she’d thought it had been a horrible joke when he’d given her details on where to pick up airplane tickets to Hobart. It was important for her to come, he’d explained. Some legality she hadn’t understood. Something about her having to sign documents for the transfer of ownership of some assets. It’d sounded too farfetched at the start, but after some research on the firm with the help of a friend, it sounded valid, and she’d hoped her life was finally turning around for the better.
Sounds like you have a bit of a mystery writer in you, after all! Is this a stand-alone story or part of a series?
This is the first book of the BEGINNINGS series. The rights were returned to me earlier this year and it has received another full edit … and has become a little sexier.
Is the setting fictional or based on a real place?
The story is set in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. I went there a few years ago and knew I had to write a book set in this beautiful place.
What can we expect from you next? Are you working on anything new?
I’m currently revising my very first book “Sweet Dreams, Miss England” which I hope I’ll get uploaded late September. Then I’d like to finish my book “Fly with Me” which is partly set in Melbourne and New Zealand. I’m very excited about this story.
Lovely. Where can we find you and your books on the internet? Please share your links with us.
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Thanks for joining us today, Iris. Best of luck with New Beginnings and all your future writing endeavors.