Welcome Back, Iris
By Jeff Salter
Iris Blobel is a very special case, folks.
Not only has she previously been my Guest Fox – here on Hound Day… six years ago – but she also spent a couple of years here at 4F1H as a Resident Fox.
Iris has worked in TV, radio, and print — and I can’t count how many fiction titles she’s released.
She’s widely traveled and has lived in some of the most beautiful places on earth.
But wait, I should let my talented friend tell y’all about all these things.
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 only emerged a few years back, but now her laptop is a constant companion.
Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.
For more information, please visit her website www.irisblobel.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/
Thank you, Jeff, for the lovely, and very kind, introduction. It’s great to be back with you all. Shame on me, I haven’t made more of an effort to stop by, but it’s been a busy couple of years. So, let me bring you all up-to-date on what’s been happening at this end of the world.
[JLS] — It’s been several years since you gave up your shift at 4F1H. What’cha been up to?
*** IRIS *** Wow … where do I begin? Life’s been busy, both in my private life and as an author. I’ve received a few titles back and have re-released them myself. I love my “Beginnings” series and so do the readers. I’ve also released two new books, “Echoes of the Past” (which I love) and “Their Bond through Jade” (which I love even more). After some stress in the publishing business, I like having control over my books.
[JLS] — As I recall your background, you were raised in Germany, lived briefly in the U.K. somewhere, relocated to Canada… and have now resided in Australia for many years. Has assimilating all those different cultures ever presented a challenge? Any confusion? If so, how did you cope?
*** IRIS *** I’ve always liked to travel. It’s a family trait. So it was just a matter of time until I packed my bags and went to see the world. Yes, I lived in Scotland, London, Montreal, and moved to Australia in the late 1990s … so grateful that life has given me all these opportunities.
There weren’t any challenges as such. I’m simply grateful, because I am more settled as a person nowadays, knowing I’ve seen a lot in this world. But also to instill into my two daughters that there’s a big world out there to conquer.
[JLS] — You may have shared this before, but please tell our readers about your experience in television. Who was the most famous actor you escorted about the city?
*** IRIS *** Oh yes. I loved my time at the television station in Germany. I worked there for two years as a trainee and then for another two or three years as a secretary in the Dept for Entertainment. I have fond memories of my time there – lots of interesting productions were done during that time. I also worked with a film production company for a year or so. LOL re the most famous actor … I wouldn’t call him the most famous one, but Pierre Brice was most certainly the one actor who got me all nervous and flustered when he came into the office. Other “famous” actors are mainly German, but I also briefly worked on a movie with Andrew McCarthy.
[JLS] — I’d love to hear more about that resort you worked at, in Scotland somewhere.
*** IRIS *** Talladh-A-Bheithe (or at least I think that’s how it’s spelled) – It was run by a German organisation based in my hometown. I think the owner’s sister was Mum’s neighbour and through connections, I ended up for four months in this beautiful Lodge near Pitlochry. It was a huge wake up call, spoilt third child all of a sudden had to work twelve hour shifts. I learnt a lot, and matured a lot, too.
[JLS] — Remind me how – and when – you came to move “down under” (with a husband you met in Canada).
*** IRIS *** There’s a travel group here in Australia called Contiki, specialising in budget travels for the 18-35. Great stuff. Well, that’s how we met. More coincidently, because I heard this German surname on a daily basis during the roll call, but could never figure out who it was … until one of the last parties. You know, one thing let to another, he called, visited … and I ended up in Australia. After twenty-one years of marriage I’d say it obviously wasn’t a bad move.
[JLS] — Please share one of the more memorable broadcasts in your weekly radio show.
*** IRIS *** Wow – hard to pinpoint that to one. It’s a community radio so I’ve met a lot of wonderful, and very humble, people who work effortlessly for the community. I think that was the most interesting part. As for the “biggest” coup, I’d say it was my interview with former Bros star and now Las Vegas resident Matt Goss. Something I won’t forget.
[JLS] — If it’s not too personal, would you share about your journey through some serious medical setbacks?
*** IRIS *** I’ve been thinking about how to tackle this one … On the one hand, I personally like to leave it behind. It’s in the past. Also, I don’t like it to define me. But I suppose as Jeff said, there might be readers out there who have shared the same fate and might be interested in my journey … so here is the short version.
My health declined rapidly about four to five years ago. I was diagnosed with IBS and a few food allergies, which makes it for a rather bland dinner every day. LOL. But, I got the hang of it and retrained myself to “cook differently” and have come up with some nice dishes. Once I had my health back to a manageable stage, me and my family went through a rough year with lots of stress and bullying from all corners, myself and my daughters … my body said no more and in late 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a big and aggressive tumor and within a week I had surgery to remove it. But because of its size and my age I was also undergoing chemo treatment, second surgery, and radiation. I’m happy to tell you all, I’ve been cancer free for a year. It’s been a tough journey, but it brought us closer together as a family. My daughters excelled in coping with a sick mother and I believe their outlook in life has changed slightly to “Enjoy life, you only have one”. Yet, as I said, it’s behind us and we’re looking forward to many, many more years together.
[JLS] — Have you been able to use any of those health issues – thematically – in your fiction?
*** IRIS *** No, I haven’t touched it. It’s in the past. We often joked about some of the issues I had, because that was our coping mechanism. Dealing with it in form of a story would bring back too many memories, which are better stuck in the past.
[JLS] — I notice several of your titles feature the concept of beginnings. [And it certainly seems you’ve had several new starts.] Is this a specific series, with common characters? Or just a thematic connection?
*** IRIS *** “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
LOVE BEGINNINGS … Beginnings are the quintessential of my life. So many of them. I started the series with “New Beginnings”. I went to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, and wanted to set a story in this beautiful town – that’s how the story of Sophie Levesque and her sister Mia began. I loved them and all the other characters around them, so I continued. “Fresh Beginnings” is my favourite, because it’s based on our holidays in the US a few years back.
[JLS] — If sales (money) and critics (reviews) were immaterial to you, what genre and length would you write?
*** IRIS *** Money and reviews are already immaterial to me J I write because I love it. I received an email from a reader this morning telling me how much she enjoyed my book and because of it how much she now would like to come to this end of the world – worth more than any money in the world to me.
However, if I had the talent, I’d love to write a crime novel. One day I might try, but I don’t think my head’s twisted enough for it.
[JLS] — Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?
*** IRIS *** No. It’s not something that comes up in a conversation often, i.e., me being an author, but when it does come up, people are very supportive about what I’m doing.
[JLS] — If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?
*** IRIS *** I am so glad I found my love for writing, because I’ve tried so many other things to occupy myself with, like stitching, knitting, sports … that’s just not for me. I like putting my day dreams onto paper.
[JLS] — Where can readers find all your book titles?
*** IRIS *** Most of my books are in Kindle Unlimited, ie free for subscribers, so this is where you find all my books: https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/
For those who haven’t read any of my books, yet, but would like to enjoy a little of Australia, for Jeff’s readers, please feel free to download a free copy of “Their Bond through Jade”, which is also set in the magnificent country of New Zealand.
Instafreebie link (which is NOT linked to a NL signup): https://claims.instafreebie.com/free/7F6dr8BO
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Blurb — Echos of the Past
When Connor Walsh, a business lawyer in London, receives news that his estranged father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, a little coastal town in Australia. With the memories of his childhood years tucked away in the back of his mind, he finds his father and kindergarten friends rallying around to remind him of the past. But he’s unprepared for the growing attraction he feels for Emily, and it doesn’t take long for Connor to feel regret that his life could have been so much different.
Emily Bradshaw has waited for over twenty years to see Connor again. And although he can’t remember her, let alone their first kiss, her childhood crush is still in full swing. Eager to pick up where they left off as children, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he is in Fermosa Bay, accepting her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.
Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying in Fermosa Bay?
Here is Iris’ guest appearance – at 4F1H – from September 2012:
Question (from Iris) for our readers today:
I ran a promotion a few weeks back with stories set at the coast or near a beach… because I’ve found these are the stories I like. How important is the setting of a story for you?