I had the great pleasure of interviewing the lovely Phillipa Ashley.
Phillipa Ashley, loves writing lively, sexy, funny romantic fiction. After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist.
Her first novel, Decent Exposure – titled DATING MR DECEMBER for the US – won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award. In 2009, it was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins.
She lives in an English village with her husband and daughter and loves Jane Austen, hiking and body boarding.
And here is her interview:
- Born with a pen in your hand or writing came as a shock brigade?
Writing romance certainly came as a shock to me! I didn’t start until 2005, after being inspired to write romance by the BBC TV costume drama North & South. But I have always loved reading and writing. At school, I almost always took the nonfiction route when it came to exams and essays so it’s no surprise I ended up as a freelance journalist and copywriter. I’m afraid studying English Lit at Oxford University only made me think more that I could never write a novel. Didn’t you have to be Charles Dickens or William Golding to do that? I had no idea there were millions of romance readers out there and that there’s a huge thirst for escapist, sexy, entertaining books alongside the worthy, serious ones.
- Have you ever considered packing it in?
Frequently, but so far, I haven’t actually given up. If I’m struggling mid-book, I try to take a couple of weeks break and talk through the issues with my agent or writer friends, Nell Dixon or Elizabeth Hanbury – or even my daughter and husband. Sometimes simply talking out loud about the problems, can crystallize the solution in my mind.
- What do you like best about writing?
Being able to create whole ‘worlds’ and spend time with a rich array of characters, gorgeous angst ridden heroes and sparky, witty heroines in settings that inspire me. Writing is pure escapism for me. My new US release, Carrie Goes off the Map enabled me to escape, literally and in my imagination, on a road trip around the South West of England. Instead of sitting at my desk I could stride along dramatic cliffs and listen to the surf thunder on a beach along with the characters – and get paid to do it!
Thank you for having me on your blog, Elle!
Follow me on twitter at @PhillipaAshley or Facebook
Phillipa’s latest releases are FEVER CURE (Samhain Publishing – e-book available now) and CARRIE GOES OFF THE MAP (Sourcebooks paperback and e book – December 1st 2011.)