Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Interview with Phillipa Ashley
Welcome to Phillipa Ashley whose writing career was kick started by a television costume drama. Her first book, 'Decent Exposure/Dating Mr December' won the Romantic Novelists Association Joan Hessayon New Writers Award and in 2009 and was filmed as a US TV movie.
Phillipa can you tell us how you got you got started?
I started writing fan fiction in late 2004 after watching a BBC adaptation of North & South. In 2005 I wrote Decent Exposure, my first novel which was made into a Lifetime movie in 2009 and is out in the US now. I call it the book that will never die...
To plot or not to plot? How much of a planner are you?
I try and write an outline but usually end up ignoring most of it. I like to get the first draft down while the ideas are flowing and then rewrite several times once I know what should really happen!
Where is your favourite place to work?
I move about the house from bed to office to lounge to dining room, working on a PC and a laptop.
Do you write every day? What is your work schedule?
I also work as a freelance copywriter so I’m busy writing from 7am-7pm some days and also often write for a couple of hours on Sundays. I usually have Saturday off.
Which authors have most influenced your work? And which do you choose to read now?
Jane Austen, Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde, Christina Jones, Nell Dixon, Rosy Thornton, Jill Shalvis, Liz Fielding. I like reading non-fiction too, especially guidebooks and manuals about wild swimming, camping or surfing.
Do you find time to have interests other than writing? How do you relax?
I find it absolutely essential to get out of the house. Health and family are far more important that writing, much as I love it. I try to go for a swim, walk, spinning or gym class most days and I get into the outdoors as much as possible, cycling, walking or surfing with my family.
How do you promote your books, and how much time do you give to it?
Quite a lot at the moment as I have two US publishers who send me on blog tours and encourage me to interact online with readers. I use Facebook, Twitter and blogging.
In what way has the RNA helped you or your career?
I submitted the ms of my first novel, Decent Exposure, to the New Writers Scheme in 2005 and got some encouraging feedback. I didn’t get a second read but after revising the book, I sent it to an agent and she sold it to Little Black Dress.
Do you enjoy research, and how do you set about it?
I love doing hands on research and as many of my books feature outdoor activity, so I get an excuse to try them. So far I’ve tried abseiling, surfing, swimming in a mountain pool and spent a week in a campervan.
Who is your ideal reader?
Anyone who enjoys escapist romantic fiction. I have readers from 13-90, of very diverse views in many different countries.
Tell us about your latest book, and how you got the idea for it.
My forthcoming worldwide release is Fever Cure available as an e book from Samhain on July 12. It’s a very sexy romance about teacher Keira Grayson who meets The Honourable Tom Carew, dedicated doctor and possibly the hottest man on the planet. Trouble is, his bags are already packed to return to the jungles of Papua New Guinea where he has patients waiting—and amends to make for a terrible choice that left devastation in its wake.
When I was an undergraduate, I once sat opposite an earl’s son who was studying to be a doctor and I wondered why someone so privileged would choose such a tough profession.
In the USA my romantic novel, Wish You Were Here, has been launched by Sourcebooks in print and e-book this month and spent several weeks in the Amazon Romance Top 20. It’s about Jack Thornfield, a new CEO who is shocked to see his long lost love; Beth Allen's resume come across his desk. After 8 years apart they have a second chance at happiness in a story about love and secrets.
Can you tell us something of your work in progress?
I’m editing a new romantic novel about a history-loving heroine who manages an island castle. Then the owner, a bad boy Lord returns and wants to sell it. Lots of humour, romance and secrets in this one too!
Thank you, Phillipa. We wish you every success with your new novels.
If you want to know more about Phillipa and her writing, visit her website
Follow on her on Facebook at
or on Twitter @PhillipaAshley.com