Interview with Ian Welch

Published 2021-07-25.
Do you have any free books?
Yes, I've just made TARGET - Prendergast Uncovered free. Take a look - inside I list another freebie (a short novelette). 'Only the Good go to Heaven.' This book is not published - only available to my VIP readers but definitely worth a read. Don't dilly dally, this offer may change at any time.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The bank manager. No, not really. We spend almost one-third of our lives asleep, why waste any more? On the writing theme, a lot of ideas come to me in bed and I need to write them down before I forget them. I often rewrite segments of my books in my head whilst in bed. Okay, the truth. I can't wait to get up in the morning, sit down and add to my novel.
Plus our house has panoramic views of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Sometimes you wake to see a cruise ship moored in the bay. Fishing charters and private boats are scuttling out to sea to try their luck. The regular ferries transporting the constant flow of visitors to and from Paihia and Waitangi. It's a hive of activity, why would you stay in bed and miss all this?
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mother kept us kids supplied with books. I started on comics then progressed to boy's adventure stories. The 'real' reading started at school. I remember reading 'The day of the triffids.' It transported me into a world I had never even dreamed of. I remember the basic storyline to this day.It later was made into a movie but somehow it is not the same as reading the book. There was Jane Austin's 'Pride and Prejudice.' This is a classic, I found it hard work reading, although I'm glad I did read it.
When did you first start writing?
Serious writing started only three years ago. Before this I was too involved in business and had very little spare time for such luxuries. I did dabble with articles for local publications and as I recall I loved writing stories in my school days. Writing has become important for me. It has become a substitute for reading, a passion. I have noticed the process of writing has become easier with later novels. Maybe it is like a good wine, it improves with age. Writing at present is in the hobby classification but I would love it to move to a money earner venture.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. I would be turning the clock back to my school days and my brain refuses to cooperate. Besides it would have been a very basic effort. I would like to think I have made expedential improvements since then so perhaps it is best it remains forgotten.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I get on with life, normal everyday mundane things although I probably never completely switch off from my writing. I subconsciously take note of comments, situations, even world events which may or may not resurface at some time in the future for inclusion in a novel. Changes are in the wind, I'm moving house, moving to the city which both excites and sends tremors of trepidation pulsing through me, especially when I think of the traffic. This represents a major upheaval, a total change of lifestyle. WHY MOVE? It's a family decision. I've loved my time here in Russell, it is an idyllic place to live but it does have its limitations. Access means catching the car ferry or adding an hour to your journey with the coastal road. Last ferry leaves at 10pm so any 'overseas trip' (the locals refer to taking the ferry as going overseas) dominates your timetable.
What do your fans mean to you?
I associate 'fans' with sports events, maybe a rock concert, but authors? Perhaps loyal - dedicated readers might be more appropriate. OK, let's stick with fans.
Well, they are the difference between success and failure. All of us like positive feedback but honestly we learn more from constructive criticism. Fans can help in many ways. Any feedback is good feedback. Stop. This is not an invitation to denigrate my masterpiece. Suggestions for improvements, or ideas for a new novel or just taking the time to say hello is hugely appreciated.
Where do you see yourself and your writing in ten years?
I have a problem - I seem to have misplaced my 'Crystal Ball'. Let's have a guess, I can come up with three scenarios.
One: I churn out two novels per year. Each subsequent novel is spectacularly more successful than the previous. My bank account is bulging at the seams, film directors are beating a track to my door to sign me up to turn my novels into movies I am leading a life of unabashed decadent luxury - staying in luxury hotels and resorts as I frequent all the elite hot spots reserved for the rich and famous. A never-ending supply of pina colada's as I laze on a sun-drenched tropical beach. Life is blissfully perfect. And then I wake up!! Damn it. Have you ever had a fabulous dream, woken up and tried desperately to get back to sleep to continue the experience?
Two: After five years of turning out novels which I think are absolutely fabulous but no-one else does, I finally admit defeat, I'm being delusional and I give up. I'm burdened down with debt accumulated trying to promote my failed masterpieces. The tax man is knocking at my door demanding payment for income I never earned. Reminds me of a song by the Kinks, 'Sunny afternoon.' 'The taxman's taken all my dough and left me in this stately home. All I've got's this sunny afternoon. And I can't sail my yacht, he's taken everything I've got, All I've got's this sunny afternoon.' I digress - it's about this time I again wake up this time in a hot sweat. Another damned nightmare.
Three: I continue writing, no spectacular success, a sprinkling of sales but I'll have to shelve plans to give up my day job.
I only have one small task to perform. 'Convince one million readers that my next novel is going to be the next best thing since sliced bread.'.
WAIT! Delete option two and three, I'm going with one!!!!
Who are your favorite authors?
I like numerous authors, anyone who can construct a captivating plot, but it is hard to go past Wilbur Smith for a rip roaring good yarn - a real blokes writer. I credit Wilbur Smith with igniting my desire to read again. A little meander back in history. I was introduced to reading at a young age by my mother. This tapered to a halt in my teenage years - too busy, too many distractions. Then I became consumed in my work. Imagine this -alarm went off at 4am, milking time on farm. Came home 6pm or later. Worked seven days a week, 365 days a year - no holiday for two years. Sport and socialising was squeezed in at weekends between milkings. Only reading was agricultural journals and newspapers. Dedicated, committed, stupid. I was watching a game on TV, the commentators focused on a well known sportsman on the sideline who was reading a Wilbur Smith novel - great writer was the comment. I went and introduced myself to a Wilbur Smith novel - I was hooked.
I enjoy John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Sidney Sheldon, some Clive Cussler novels from the name authors. I have read many other author works includind some female writers. Colleen McCullough, Lee Harper, even Danielle Steele. I think I must be one of the few people on the planet that has not read 'Fifty shades of Gray.' Reading again takes a back seat to my own writing now.
What are your writing ambitions?
They are constantly changing. I started with a simple basic aim, to see if I could actually write a novel. Having completed my first draft I needed to know if I could interest a publisher. The final step is to convince the public that I have written a novel that is worth purchasing.
It is hugely satisfying to finally hold a print copy of a novel with your name on it in your hands but once the euphoria fades the reality that this has been the easy bit sets in. It is a crowded market, we are all small fish in a vast ocean.
I guess my ambition is to be accepted as a writer worth reading. I am looking forward to the final step 'World Domination'. Ha ha.
How important are reviews?
Reviews are instrumental in a reader's decision to read a book. Everyone is influenced by reviews. Going to a restaurant, choosing a holiday, we all like to see what others opinions are. All authors are desperate for reviews. No reviews invariably equate to no sales. The usual excuse is I don't have time, or I'm not good with words. My answer is it will only take two minutes. Just answer, did you like the story? Second question, what did you like or dislike? Two sentences will suffice. Of course, more would be great.
Give an insight into your writing process
Each novel is different, the inspiration and the writing processes involved vary with each story. In a perfect scenario, I would map out a basic plot on paper, a start, a finish, and some thoughts on the in-between. If only that were the case every time. Alas, it isn't, The worst example was 'Conspiracy'. I stumbled from chapter to chapter with no idea where I might end up. That was hard work writing.
On the opposite side of the ledger, with Target I had a definite vision of the plot and the main character but as always a huge degree of ad-libbing was involved where I had to stop at the end of a chapter and think where is this going? In most cases, the story leads me rather than I have it all worked out.
'Broken Wings' was inspired by reading 'The Thorn Birds' by Colleen McCullough and my thinking I could do something like that, only different of course.
'Circumstantial Truth' arose from observing my son and his dog and their passion for the outdoors.
'Firestrike' was a natural progression of a desire to write another Prendergast adventure.
'Eternal Damnation' is a rehashing of a very early novel. I viewed my early effort as decidedly average - I thought " I've moved on, I'm a better writer than that now." Hopefully, that is true, a bit like a good wine, I improve with age. At least that's what I tell myself. The rewrite was easy, I had the plot, I just needed to expand upon it and correct a few substandard sentences. The initial inspiration was to write a story set in New Zealand, and touch upon it's relatively short history. This is a beautiful part of the world and until recently a secret to many. Of course, I'm biased, this is my homeland.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is creative, the pleasure is probably similar to that of a builder standing back and admiring his finished house. I compare it to reading a book except I'm the one choosing the plot twists. Most avid readers would like to write their own masterpiece. Writing a book is easy, writing a best seller is the hard part.
I enjoy the whole process. I look forward to sitting at my laptop and letting my imagination run riot. I have to watch it does not dominate my life, and that I don't become a recluse. I might appear somewhat vacant when someone fires a question at me as I work but I never isolate myself. My writing does not dominate my life, it complements it. Seeing a finished print copy of your novel with your name on it is hugely satisfying. But the real pleasure has to be when someone else genuinely likes your work. Forget friends, forget family, when someone you don't know and is not out to pamper your ego truly enjoys your novel. That gives me the biggest buzz.
Describe your desk
Organized Chaos. The word 'tidy' does not figure in my dictionary. Laptop, monitor, printers, numerous scraps of paper, cables, stapler and numerous other 'essential' items jostle for a free spot on a very small desk. I feign deafness to threats to conduct a spring clean.
Which of your novels are you most proud of?
Perhaps the answer should be the one I've just finished. I sort of blow hot and cold, I look back on a recently completed novel and think 'yes,' that's not too bad. After a couple of sleeps, the doubts creep in and sometimes it takes reassurance from an independent source to regain my confidence. Some writers are convinced they're world beaters when they obviously aren't. Not me, I constantly try to hone my skills, to learn from any criticism (other writers are the most vociferous) in the attempt to create a novel that you that reader just cannot put down. I loved writing my first Prendergast 'Target novel, I was really proud of 'Broken Wings,' it represented a change of direction, a saga. But 'Circumstantial Truth' is the most complete thriller to date. If you've read a more complex, a more complete interconnecting plot, please let me know.
What prompted you to take up writing?
If someone had said to me as recently as five years ago 'you're going to write a book' I probably would have come back with a smart-ass reply. 'Sure, and the Moon is really made of green cheese, isn't it?'
In my pre-teenage years I had visions of being an actor! My elder sisters were obsessed with film stars and celebrities. A whole wall in the house was plastered with magazine clippings of film stars. I was continuously tested to name them all. As a teenager I discovered pop music, I imagined myself in a rock group - preferably the lead singer. One small problem, my musical abilities were zero. I couldn't play any musical instrument and my singing was diabolical.
Sorry, I haven't really answered the question have I? I have never harbored even a remote desire to be an author. It came out of the blue, I surprised myself. To try and explain it needed some deep thinking. My mother was a reader; she kept us kids supplied with books. We lived on a farm in the country miles from the nearest neighbor. My sisters left for work and off to boarding school, I found myself left alone to amuse myself. School represented my main contact with the outside world. I read, I created my own games (fantasies) based on stories I had read. I withdrew into myself. I can relate to Tom Hanks in Castaway.
The seed was sown, I was adept at creating stories in my head, it just lay dormant for many years. After rediscovering reading (Wilbur Smith), I developed a voracious appetite for more. One day completely out of the blue I announced to a bemused, probably skeptical family, 'I'm going to write a novel.'
What are you working on now?
Finally, finally, finally I have finished Eternal damnation - Quest for Justice. This is an updated version of one of my very first novels. I have also published (free) a very short novella 'Only the Good go to Heaven'. It's not serious work - more designed to bring a smile to your face (or a frown). What's in the melting pot now? Well, I've been having an extended break from writing - moved house, too many jobs needed doing but there's something about writing - it's addictive.
I have another 'Prendergast'novel awaiting attention. (75% complete) that I haven't touched for a couple of years. But what excites me most is a new untitled novel inspired I guess, by reading Tilly Bagshawe novels. It's a real departure, I'm not sure I will be brave enough to put my name to it. Reading one of Tilly's novels might give you a hint.
What are you working on now?
Finally, finally, finally I have finished Eternal damnation - Quest for Justice. This is an updated version of one of my very first novels. I have also published (free) a very short novella 'Only the Good go to Heaven'. It's not serious work - more designed to bring a smile to your face (or a frown). What's in the melting pot now? Well, I've been having an extended break from writing - moved house, too many jobs needed attention but there's something about writing - it's addictive.
I have another 'Prendergast'novel awaiting attention. (75% complete) that I haven't touched for a couple of years. It was always my intention to resume writing - this is quite normal for me. I become inspired by a new idea and I have to write a chapter or two or three before the inspiration fades. In many cases I know I won't stay with it until completion but I always intend to return at some time in the future. That is exactly what is happening now.
In between times, I have read several Tilly Bagshawe novels which inspired me to take a leap into the unknown. My untitled as yet new novel is a real departure from my usual. A sexual theme and language which I usually avoid but is commonplace in other books, but still is a basic thriller. Maybe I'll use a pseudo name as the author! Maybe. At 32,000 words I've stopped - taken a break and returned to the Prendergast novel. Yes, I know, I jump around but sometimes a break helps. The weird thing is I have the bulk of the story and have even written the final chapter, I just need to fill in a few blanks. WHO said writing was easy?
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Eternal Damnation Quest for Justice
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,550. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Murder, corruption, deceit, a complicated deception plus a sprinkling of romance. Avoiding being murdered by an untouchable corrupt law is paramount, then exacting revenge for his dead parents motivates a determined Ethan.
Only The Good Go To Heaven
Price: Free! Words: 4,920. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Paddy, Alatan, and Blue share one thing. They have led less than perfect lives. Now it is judgment day.
Phantom Footprints An Electric Eclectic Book
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 9,370. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Supernatural collides with reality. Travis exists, Scarlett knows this. She has seen the evidence with her own eyes, she has felt his presence, she has held his hand. Why does everyone doubt her? If only she could remember the accident, why would she be riding a horse like Makayla said? She hates horses.
Operation Debt Recovery An Electric Eclectic Book
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 9,340. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
What harm can a week in fun city Las Vegas do? Answer - open a can of worms which will change Brandon's life forever. Now Brandon has the almost impossible task of trying to extricate himself and restore some normality to his life.
Chantilly Lace An Electric Eclectic Book
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 9,510. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
Chris's secret is no longer a secret, and hubby is baying for blood. Chris is more than an insurance salesman, and is Amanda the person Chris thinks she is? And how does Chantilly Lace fit into this picture?
Circumstantial Truth
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 87,090. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
. A failed relationship, betrayed by his best friend and framed for a crime he did not commit. A multitude of different people with their own conflicting agendas is swirling around Zack Carmichael. Life is complicated and confusing. Is prison the place to rediscover love and seek help establishing his innocence? A compelling emotional journey against almost insurmountable odds unfolds.
Firestrike - Prendergast Uncompromised
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 96,340. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
What does Brad Prendergast, a beach bum surfer, Jefferson Sainsbury, head of operations, CIA, and Angel, an aggrieved Islamic woman have in common? Answer - Firestrike and the men who have possession.
Broken Wings
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 114,840. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Take a large dose of a suspense thriller, add in a mysterious accident or is it a cold blooded murder? Exact the most spine chilling revenge imaginable. Dust with a sprinkling of romance. All co-exist surrounded by swirling series of family crisis. The captivating result, Broken Wings.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 80,540. Language: American English. Published: December 5, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Craig Watson's life is in freefall. Amanda has left him, unknown people are trying to kill him. Nothing is making sense. Is his boss and friend Todd Burmister implicated? A sinister secret from Todd's past has resurfaced and is threatening to destroy Todd and everyone associated with him. Craig needs to unravel this mystery and discover who is maniputing his life before it is too late.
Target Prendergast Uncovered
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,450. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(5.00 from 1 review)
A paid holiday in Hawaii, and he can take his surfboard. Brad couldn't turn down that offer. All he's required to do is strike up a friendship with a gorgeous Irish girl and report to his MI6 minder any information he can uncover of the father's plans. He wasn't supposed to fall for the girl. Brad's presence infuriates some dangerous people.