WLM Spotlight Sunday – Philip Whiteland

Alan Parks: We Love Memoirs

Philip Whiteland

It’s Sunday! That means it is your chance to grill an author! Today it is Philip Whiteland! As always two winners will be selected to win ebooks from Philip at the end of the day! Have a good one Philip!


Victoria Twead: Morning Philip Whiteland, welcome to the Sunday Spotlight! Enjoy your day. Lovely baby, grandson or granddaughter?

Jacky Rolls: Good morning Philip, I have just had a quick look at the synopsis of your book ‘Pantry’ (haven’t read it yet, but it looks intriguing!). Anyway, what gave you the idea of the ‘menu’ theme?

Philip Whiteland: Morning Victoria. It’s my grandson Flynn who is now 3 1/2!

Victoria Twead: He’s very cute!

Sue Clamp: Good morning, Philip! Hope you enjoy your day in the spotlight!

Ann Patras-Author: Good morning Philip, I’m pleased to see they didn’t get you out of bed too early. Good job you don’t live in the States. . I am currently about to enjoy pudding out of your Pantry, and can say I thoroughly enjoyed Starters and Mains. Might I ask, how many books have you written now, and when was the first one published. AND do you have one in the pipeline at the moment?

Philip Whiteland: Hi Jacky, I’m not really sure. When I compiled my first collection (Steady Past Your Granny’s) I just bunged a few stories together and it seemed to work ok. When I came to the second (Crutches for Ducks) I had so many that I had to have some form of organisation, so I grouped them in relatively common themes and then connected them to old song titles (School’s Out, Reasons to be Cheerful etc.) With A Kick at the Pantry Door, some form of food theme seemed appropriate as the title is what my mum used to say if we asked what was for dinner. As luck would have it, a number of the stories had a food connection, which led to the use of a menu. Bet you’re wishing you hadn’t asked now

–Thanks Sue

–Hi Ann, so am I, I don’t do mornings! Glad you’ve enjoyed the book so far. There are 3 books of ‘nostalgedy’ stories (see above) and one comedy novel that we don’t talk about much. ‘Steady Past Your Granny’s’, the first one, was self-published in hard copy form in 2005. I’m collecting more stories together but I don’t have a date for the next one just yet.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: Morning Phillip.

Philip Whiteland: Good morning, Gemma.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: Is Flynn your only grandchild Philip? He looks very cute in that pic BTW. X

Philip Whiteland: He is very cute, but then I’m biased Yes, he’s our only grandson to date, but he keeps us sufficiently busy for half a dozen.

Sue Clamp: Roughly how long does it take you to collect the stories together for a book?

Philip Whiteland: I guess it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to get them in some sort of order, edit and revise where necessary and usually add a few new ones that occur to me as I go along. Then there’s deciding on relevant photos and the eternal problem of the cover, Sue.

Sue Clamp: Do you do the covers yourself?

Philip Whiteland: ish. I decide on the photo to be used and how I want it to look in broad terms, then a friend of mine puts it together for me so that it can be used as a cover. Finding a relevant photo (or creating one) is difficult when you don’t have a central theme. ‘Steady Past Your Granny’s’ was relatively easy because the title story referred to me making the decision to dive into a local urinal on my way home from the pub (nice topic eh?) As the urinal has been preserved at a local museum, I was able to recreate the scene. Mind you, it didn’t stop people asking if the book was about gay cruising. Oh well!

about an hour ago · Like · 3

Alan Parks: Philip, do you have any outrageous hobbies we should know about?

Dodie Shea: Good morning Philip. Your books sound like I need to add them to my reading list. Where do you live?

Nancy McBride: Hi, Philip! Just rousing on the left coast of the Big Puddle… Your books seem to be just my style! I’m downloading, and looking forward to reading them! It helps me to note your process. I have a kazillion stories written, now the managing…I know it will come, but it is daunting, then there’s the publishing… How did you find a publisher?

Julie Haigh: Good morning-but really now afternoon!-I’m feeling very virtuous seeing as I’ve changed two beds and actually done something on a Sunday as I usually do-err-sod all!-due to the addictive nature of the Sunday spotlight! Anyway, why the menu theme-I know there’s been a question about it but, I was thinking, did you used to have a restaurant or something? Which brings me on to-do you have any strange tastes in foods? And like Alan Parks, I would like to know about your hobbies, eg, do you play a musical instrument? I have your book ready on my kindle so will look forward to reading it sometime soon. Enjoy your day being grilled by all of us!

Philip Whiteland: Hi Alan, I’m going to have to disappoint you there. My principal hobby is writing. In terms of exercise, I favour jumping to conclusions and gasping for breath. I was a Hospital Radio presenter for five years, if that counts?

–Dodie – I live in Derbyshire now, on the edge of the Peak District, but I was born and raised in Burton upon Trent, which is the main topic of my stories.

–I’m afraid that I’ve never had a publisher, Nancy, I’m solely self-published.

Nancy McBride: Sound like less stress, and obviously it works! Delightful! How, then, did you promote?

–I have a friend who lives PT in Derbyshire. Lovely there! He has an old cottage. Its open for my use, so when I come over, I’ll have you and yours for tea and scones!

Bambi Flanner: I just read the sample of your book on Amazon, and I love your sense of humor. Or humour. Lol. The part about the pictures really hits home with me, I have boxes of who knows what. At the time, it might have been a whale, or an eagle, or a glacier, but I’ll never know. lol. I’m excited to read your book.

— And yes, where do you live now? Have you moved to Spain with everyone else?

Laurie A. Grundner: When you are away from home and see something out of the ordinary are you thinking of how to write a story about it?

Philip Whiteland: Thanks Nancy. Promotion is basically about being everywhere you can on social media without screaming ‘BUY MY BOOK’ at every possible occasion. You also need to have a blog. Basically, it’s about building awareness and then hoping word of mouth does the rest.

Nancy McBride: Thanks, Philip. That’s encouraging.

Judi Bedford-Keogh: Do you find writing easy?. Do you have to bevin a certain place or do you have set rituals?

Philip Whiteland: Julie – No, never had a restaurant, although my parents did keep a pub for a while. Strange tastes in food? I really like ‘offaly’ type things that are probably made from something disgusting, so black pudding and savoury ducks are a favourite. I tried to learn piano as a child, without much success, but I’m threatening to have a go at a keyboard I’ve had for years when I retire later this year.

Nancy McBride: Retire from what?

Philip Whiteland: Judi – I find it easy once I actually start. It’s starting that’s the problem. No place or rituals.

–Nancy – I’m a lecturer in Human Resource Management at a local university.

Susan Joyce: Good morning Philip Whiteland! It’s still morning in Uruguay. Cute kid you’re cooing with in the photo.

Philip Whiteland: You should see him now, Susan. He has the longest eyelashes, much to the chagrin of every girl

Susan Joyce: Philip do you like bubbly champagne?

Philip Whiteland: Laurie – unfortunately, yes! It’s a bit of a curse. Bambi – I’ve avoided Spain but I do have family near Valencia.

–Susan – not much. I’m rather boring and much prefer a pint of lager.

Susan Joyce: Lager? Coming up!

–Here’s to Philip for sitting in the tell-all seat today. Hope you enjoy it!



Susan Joyce: Here’s to the cheerleaders!



Nancy McBride: Don’t you love how we each can be so beautifully complex? I like that you are a lecturer in Human Resources, and a fun memoir writer. Many of us have at least two roles we play simultaneously…

Judi Bedford-Keogh: I see you went to school on Anglesey. I have relatives who live there and I really love it. Where did you live.

Philip Whiteland: Thanks for the lager, Susan!

— Judi – sorry to disappoint but my school was called Anglesey Secondary Modern, it wasn’t on the Isle of Anglesey. It was called this because the Marquis of Anglesey owned large amounts of Burton upon Trent. I do have a friend who lives near Cemaes Bay though.

–Nancy – there’s nothing so complex as folk.

Susan Joyce: Philip, I like your tie-in to old school songs and food. Nice touch!

–BTW Philip, I will come and go on your thread today. It’s my husband’s big 60 and I’m treating him to a gourmet brunch at the Hilton. Nice for him and great for me. No cooking. Have you always been interested in good tasting food? And recipes?

Julie Haigh: I seem to remember reading your blog a while ago when I got your book-a few chapters about your snoring etc and having some procedure done? This was really well written about, you made it entertaining!-if it’s allowed to say that when you were detailing all the horrid bits? Did they manage to sort you out or do you still have problems with snoring etc?

Philip Whiteland: Jury’s out on that one, Julie. Don’t seem to have the sleep apnea episodes any more but my wife tells me I still snore pretty badly. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Susan Joyce: Philip, have you ever created a dish so outrageous you laughed at it? I did once. My husband and I still call it “The Laughing Soup!” I threw together a bunch of left-over dishes and added water. Unfortunately the flavors tasted all mixed up.

–So tell us about your most outrageous recipe or moment.

Nancy McBride: Back to folks with multiple facets, I always say: People are funnier than anybody!

Jacky Rolls: Thanks for the brilliant answer to my question Philip – I had to duck out but I’m back now and will have a read through the rest of the Fred Hope you are still enjoying your day under the spotlight

Ann Patras-Author: Philip, do you get back to Burton very often, I take it you still have family there. How long is it since you moved up to the Peak?

Fran Macilvey: Hi, Philip, sorry if you’ve already given this info, but can you give us your blog address? I would love to go and take a look! xx

Philip Whiteland: Susan – I’m afraid I’m no culinary genius. It was just that the stories in my last collection could be grouped (very tangentially) around a food theme. My only food tip would be not to shop in a supermarket when you’re hungry. I did that once and we were still clearing weird stuff out of the cupboard when I moved – such as Curried Baked Beans (not recommended).

–Ann – we go shopping in Burton from time to time. No family there anymore, I’m afraid. We’ve been in Derbyshire for 15 years now.

–Fran – you’re the first to ask! You can find me at www.philwhiteland.blogspot.co.uk

[Photo#3-The SlightlyOddWorld…


Julie Haigh: Do you have all the older blog stuff on this new one? I could only find all the snoring tales on the older style one?

Philip Whiteland: It starts here, Julie: http://philwhiteland.blogspot.co.uk/…/it-started-with…

Julie Haigh: Makes entertaining reading how you have’put it over’ Philip Whiteland, well worth a look. So which authors are your favourites? Do you have an all-time favourite book?

Nancy McBride: Julie Haigh reminds me its time for a snack, whilst she, apparently, is deep in the middle of a lemon meringue pie! I am happy to oblige.



Julie Haigh: I certainly am Nancy!


Nancy McBride: I know you’d do the same for me, Julie.

–One moment….have to look for a pint, be right back



Nancy McBride: Here’s a choice!



Nancy McBride: How’s that for service with a smile and a wink?

–Philip, does your career in HR leak into your books re: how you think employees should be treated, or benefit, or the messes they get into, or rules of behavior???

Philip Whiteland: Julie – my favourite authors, in no particular order, are: P.G. Wodehouse, Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett, Alan Coren, Keith Waterhouse and Alexander McCall Smith. There are probably others, but those are the ones that immediately spring to mind and which fill my bookshelves

–Not really, Nancy, I’ve always tried to keep the two things very separate as long as I continue to work as a lecturer. However, as my stories move into my working life in the coming years, that may change

Gramma Lupcho: I’m a little late , who is the precious little one in ur photo??

Philip Whiteland: My grandson, Gramma. He was just a few hours old in that photo, he’s now three and a half (the half is very important when you really want to be four!)

Gramma Lupcho: I’ll grab one too Nancy. I’ve been to ER with a nasty sprain. Fell last evening watering the garden. So I get to spend a quiet week!!

Nancy McBride: I don’t like, Gramma. I’ve had too many falls and injuries, so Have decided NOT to fall again! Good luck to me, eh?

Linda Kovic-Skow: Hello Philip Whiteland. I finally had a chance to catch up on this thread. I checked out your blog and your book at Amazon. Both look like fun. I’ve always admired people who can add humor to their writing. Good for you! Do you have another book in the works?

Philip Whiteland: Sorry to hear about your fall, Gramma/ I hope you make a speedy recovery.

–Hi Linda. Thanks for your kind remarks. There are three ‘nostalgedy’ books so far (You can find them here http://author.to/PhilipWhiteland) I’m compiling more stories for the next one, but I’m not sure when I’ll have enough to go to publication. I’ll keep you posted

–I know we’re getting to the end of the day (well, here in the UK we are) so I would just like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to ask questions and comment on here today. You’re a great bunch of people Don’t let me stop you posing any more questions you may have, I’m here until 11.00 BST.

Susan Joyce: Philip Whiteland, thanks for your time today! I’ll definitely be checking out your books and blog. Wishing you great success with your next one also!

Philip Whiteland: Thanks a lot, Susan.


01 July 2014


Victoria Twead: Philip Whiteland has just announced his two WINNERS from his Sunday Spotlight. They are Gemma Murphy-Sanderson and Julie Haigh! I’ll send you both a copy of A Kick at the Pantry Door.

Janet Hughes: Congratulations Gemma Murphy-Sanderson and Julie Haigh !



Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: Ooh thank you!. X

Cherry Gregory: Well done, Gemma and Julie!

Judith Benson: Well done!!

Philip Whiteland: Hope you like it Gemma

Susan Joyce: Congratulations to the winners—Gemma and Julie!


02 July 2014

Julie Haigh: Thank you very much for choosing me Philip, I am honoured–however, I already have your book so pick another winner as well. Well done to you Gemma!

Philip Whiteland: Very noble of you, Julie. I’ll pick someone else later.

Terry Bryan: Gemma Murphy-Sanderson and Julie Haigh



Rowena Cardwell: Congratulations to Gemma and Julie

Victoria Twead: Julie Haigh, thank you for donating yours, Philip Whiteland has picked Judi Bedford-Keogh as his second WINNER!

Janet Hughes: Congratulations Judi Bedford-Keogh



Julie Haigh: Well done Judi!

Susan Joyce: Congratulations Judi Bedford-Keogh!


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