Interview with Ian Welch

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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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 you working on next?
A sequel to Broken Wings has been relegated to the TDL (to do later -much later) file. A third Prendergast - no name - is 75% complete but progress has stalled (in the TDL) but this one I will complete. I'm waiting to be in the right mood. I used to be in a hurry to publish but not anymore.
I've been busy writing Electric Eclectic novelettes. A third 'Phantom Footsteps' has just been released. Take a peek at the synopsis, a slight departure for me.
Right now I'm doing a rewrite of my first published novel Vendetta. It's not listed with my other novels - it was published by a small US publisher - there's been a changing of the guard with the publisher. My emails changed, I can't contact them, I can't see Vendetta on their website. Unsatisfactory. All my books are now Indie books. My rewrite is really a new story, 'Eternal Damnation,' a historical novel set in the 1860's gold rush era.
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.
Describe your writing process
I think of a simple basic idea, toss it around in my head making notes. I then sit down and complicate the plot. Ideas come from all sorts of places. Watching TV, observing events, listening to peoples' stories and adding my own slant. I can be inspired by reading other novels. 'Broken Wings' was born after reading Colleen McCullough's 'The Thorn Birds.'
The first page, even the first paragraph has to hook the reader. We are all spoilt for choice; if the book doesn't grab the reader immediately it is liable to be discarded. My writing process is probably not a blueprint for others to emulate, it just works for me. I often have one event, one situation in mind and nothing else. I don't suffer from writer's block; I prefer to call it a pause. I often go to bed and create a multitude of scenarios for where my story is leading me. My processes have changed. I used to be in a hurry to publish, now I take a more sedate approach.The finished novel might have been rewritten numerous times. I strive for the unattainable - perfection. I often amaze myself with the direction my story has taken. It ends up totally different from what I initially envisaged.
The more I write, the easier the process becomes. Sometimes an idea for a new novel pops into my head when halfway through a story. It is not uncommon for me to have the first chapters of three novels on my laptop awaiting my attention. I love writing.
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.'
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.
Published 2018-08-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

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: $3.50 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: $3.50 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: $3.50 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.
Conspiracy
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 90,640. 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: Free! 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.