Phillipa Ashley

Read more about Phillipa Ashley.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: June 04, 2012

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Current Release: Just Say Yes

Describe your current release in two sentences?

Just Say Yes is a funny, contemporary romance about being true to your heart despite the pressure to be someone else. It’s about choosing ‘old-fashioned’ love and values in our celebrity-obsessed world, and is set in the beautiful English seaside county of Cornwall.

Please describe your writing environment.

Very quiet and generally peaceful, only interrupted by the buzz of a tractor in the fields behind my house. I either work in my office or on my laptop in front of the TV … which I have turned right down. I couldn’t tell you what happens in the shows, anyway, I’m so absorbed in my writing!

What are you working on?

I’ve just finished a longer contemporary romance called Miranda’s Mount which will be published in October this year. It’s about a woman who manages an ancient castle set on an island– but the aristocratic owner suddenly returns and turns her world upsidedown!

What do you feel blessed with?

My caring and supportive husband, daughter and parents.

What was your childhood ambition?

Probably to be a journalist. I used to write and illustrate tiny books about places I’d been on holiday.

If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

Jane Austen. I’d have so many questions to ask her about her books and life, that the dinner would last for weeks…

What career fields have you worked in?

Since leaving university, I’ve been a freelance copywriter and journalist and have been lucky enough to interview some actors and sports stars. But my writing was always strictly factual until I discovered the joy of romantic fiction.

Where do you want to travel?

Canada and Montana – ever since my first novel, Dating Mr. December, was made into a movie (Lifetime's "12 Men of Christmas") and we went to the Rockies to see it filmed, I want to go back and hopefully see a bear this time! I also want to see the Grand Canyon, New York, Rome and Venice.

How was your road to publication? Have you every had to deal with rejection letters?

Very unusually, the first manuscript I ever wrote – Dating Mr. December – attracted the first agent I sent it to and she sold it immediately. I’ve had a few rejection letters since – and they all sting! But happily, I’ve just signed a new two-book deal with a major UK publisher.

Do you have a favorite time of the day? If so when and why

First thing in the morning and early evening before dinner are the times I work best. I get ideas while I’m waking up and get a lot of writing done between around 4-7pm, maybe because I’ve wasted the rest of the day.

What has been the best way for you to engage readers?

I like blogging and I do tweet, but Facebook is my favourite place as I feel I can really build up relationships on there. Do add me as a friend!

Thanks for asking such interesting questions and giving me the chance to tell you about Just Say Yes – I completely fell in love with the characters when I was writing it, including two non-human ones. :-)