Iris Blobel

Hello and welcome to the Round Table. Tonight we are very pleased to have with us Iris Blobel, an author from, um, Germany, Scotland, London, Canada, and now Australia. Welcome, Iris. You move around a bit.

Thank you. I do like to travel, but Melbourne has been home now for nearly twenty years.

We’re here to find out more about your book, Echoes of the Past, which takes place in Australia, yes?

Yes. The story takes place in an imaginary setting called Fermosa Bay.

Tell me about Fermosa Bay. Is it a resort town that’s booming in Summer with rich tourists – deserted in Winter; or more a working village with fishermen and boats?

Fermosa Bay is based on two beautiful coastal towns here in Australia which I visited over the last two years. One is along the beautiful Great Ocean Road here in Victoria, the other one is north of Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. I love the beach and the communities in the little towns along the coasts and I’ve always wanted to write a story in a place just like the two – that’s how Fermosa Bay was created.

I assume the two places are different when it comes to tourism. There are always tourists along the Great Ocean Road, no matter what the season is. I suppose the small community in South Australia is quieter, but it’s too far from where I live to actually know. It’s still more a residential place with people working in Port Lincoln, which is well known for the tuna farming/fishing.

A working town with some tourists, then. I’m seeing a sort of “Portwenn” from “Doc Martin.” A charming town, no doubt.

I wish I could write quirky characters like in the TV series “Doc Martin”. Nobody beats the British when it comes to comedy … or drama … or both combined.

I’m surprised to hear you say that. Don’t you know any quirky people? If you don’t, your family is not like mine.

Oh, I know a lot of quirky people – my girls call my crazy. But “writing quirky people” is still different. You need to get it right otherwise it sounds fake!

In your story, two kids, Connor and Emily, grew up together here, but Connor left twenty years ago. His father is now ill, so Connor is coming back to town, and Emily thinks she’s going to rekindle their innocent fifth-grade romance – but he doesn’t even remember her. She must have been devastated.

Yes, Emily is devastated indeed, but there’s also worry, because it seems Connor has a blank when it comes to any memories of his childhood in Fermosa Bay. Although deeply disappointed, the fact that he cannot remember his best friends causes her more concern.

Her most immediate worry is that while her childhood crush is in full swing, she doesn’t want Connor to leave again, leave Fermosa Bay behind for a second time. It’s Connor’s biological father who helps him to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

Ah, so Connor’s father, a man he barely knows, helps him understand. A complex family drama. I won’t ask if there’s a happy ending, but I’m already hoping for one.

You will not be disappointed.

They say all writing is somewhat biographical. Are you still wistful over a childhood crush – or did you catch him?

I’m afraid there’s nothing biographical in that story. The story started as a post for “Tuesday Tales” where a group of authors write to a prompt each week. I picked it up a few months later when I needed  a story set at the beach.

Yes, we’ve included it in our “Beach Reading” collection. The subtitle says “Fermosa Bay Book One” –  any idea when the sequel will be ready? And are you planning a trilogy?

Yes, book three is already a WIP.

Excellent! You are wonderfully productive. Okay – 30 seconds – tell our readers why they want to read this book.

Echoes of the Past is more than simply a reunion romance, it’s about Connor who’s coming back to Australia after living in London for over twenty years. And for some reason he’s not able to remember his childhood in Fermosa Bay – he can’t remember his friends, including Emily, the girl he kissed when he was seven, most importantly, he cannot remember anything about his biological father. It’s a journey of discovering his childhood, of understanding and accepting the question “what could’ve been if”, and the re-connecting with old friends.

Thanks for joining us, Iris.

My pleasure.

We’d like to point out that Iris is a working writer. We have nine of her books included in our library! Visit Iris Blobel’s page for more information.

For Book of the Day .org, I’m Gideon Stevens, and you’ve been reading The Round Table.