Today is my stop on the If Only They Could Talkblog tour and I am here today with an interview with the author!
Title: If Only They Could Talk Author: Ian Walker Publisher: Clink Street Publishing Published: 28th May 2020 Format: Paperback Source:: N/A Add It:Waterstones. Goodreads. Summary: Miles Goodyear’s whole life has been planned out for him. Born into a wealthy brewing family in Chesterfield between the wars, he knows he will go to the local grammar school, followed by St John’s College, Oxford. After graduating, he will then follow his older brother into the family business where he will remain until the next generation eventually takes over when he retires.
But life – and a series of bad decisions – go against him and, as a result, things turn out very differently from what was originally planned.
If Only They Could Talk is the story of one man’s reflection on his life, his failed relationships, his regrets and his dashed hopes. It’s about someone born with so much, who loses everything as he struggles to cope with a changing world. Or at least that’s what his relatives are led to believe as they clear out his house following his death.
Gradually, the house reveals its secrets, but nothing his relatives find there can prepare them for the final twist to Miles’s story.
What is your favourite thing about writing books? It is the ability to incorporate many of the stories from my past into my novels. In fact, writing a book often prompts memories of something that happened to me or a story told to me many years ago. Often they are things I’d forgotten about and the storyline has brought the memory back again.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why? I’ve got to go for Miles Goodyear, the main character. In many ways he isn’t likeable. He’s nowhere near as successful as his two friends. In fact he’s one of life’s losers. He’s also a drinker, an adulterer and someone who abuses his position at work. Yet he is a great trier, someone who tries desperately to adapt to a changing world. He is also the type of person who, when he makes a friend, it is for life. Also you can’t help but feel sorry for him. After all, every one of his relationships ends in disaster.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing? This is an easy one. It’s tea. Not special tea like Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong, but plain old supermarket own label tea.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing? No! Mind you I’ve got plenty of bad habits. It’s just that none of them involve writing.
How did you research your book? Since some of my book is set before I was born I had to do a lot of research. That is why I always write on a MacBook Pro with an iPad next to it. I use the iPad for research purposes. I’m particularly pleased that I got certain things right, even those things that none of my readers would ever know about or would want to challenge. I’m talking about things like how much the school fees were for Chesterfield Grammar School back in 1939. It’s amazing the type of things you can find out on the internet. I don’t know how Charles Dickens managed to cope without it.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Both of course. I have a basic plot that develops, grows and changes as I write the book. As well as this book I’ve written several crime novels and sometimes the murderer has changed completely by the time I’ve finished writing. That said the basic plot of the book is the same as it was right from the start.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why? I’ve never been a great lover of fantasy literature or Sci-fi. So I’m going to choose a fictional world from a film rather than a novel. It’s the world where Woody Allen’s 1973 film Sleeper is set. Why? That’s easy, it’s because I want to be trapped in the orgasmatron just like he was
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why? I’d like to meet Miss Marple. I love crime fiction and Agatha Christie is still the best. Why Miss Marple and not Poirot? Probably because Miss Marple is the type of person you could sit down and have a conversation with over tea and a scone in her house in St Mary Mead. Poirot probably wouldn’t want me wasting his time. Besides which I’ve already met David Suchet, which is basically the same thing. What’s the first question I’d ask her? Well that would be: Did she really have an affair with a married man during the first World War? Or was that something made up by a television executive? After all I don’t remember that in any of the novels.
About the Author
Ian Walker was born in Chesterfield in 1956. His father was chief clerk for a brewery in the town and his mother was a ballet teacher. He went to Chesterfield School before gaining a place at Leicester University where he studied Chemistry and Maths. After graduating he got a job working in the laboratory at Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane London. The following year he transferred to Watney’s Brewery in Mortlake, where he moved into the sales department 18 months later.
A variety of sales rolls then followed until eventually he ended up as Regional Sales Director for Scottish and Newcastle in the West Country based in Bristol. All this came to an end in 2006 when aged just 50 he suffered a stroke and had to give up work. After 12 months of physiotherapy he felt sufficiently recovered to buy a pub in the North York Moors along with his wife Eunice.
In the eight years that they owned it they achieved listings in both The Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide. They also were in The Times the list of the top 50 places to eat in the British Countryside.
In 2016 he decided to retire and move back to Chesterfield where he hadn’t lived for 40 years. He and his wife now live just around the corner from the house where he grew up. He has two grown up sons by his previous marriage.