1. Now who is Phillipa Ashley?
My PR blurb reads:
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.
It’s true I do love writing sexy, funny emotional stories but I also love escaping to the great outdoors, swimming, hiking and body boarding. Unfortuinately, I also love biscuits, crisps and wine so you would never know I like to keep active to look at me!
2. Could you tell me about your new book Carrie goes off the map?
Carrie Brownhill, recently dumped by her fiancé, is determined to get away from men forever. Yet she finds herself stuck in a VW camper van careening through the English countryside with the intriguing Matt Landor, MD, and he seems to be just what the doctor ordered for a broken heart…
3. What give you the inspiration to write this road story book?
The idea came time one morning when I was working with the radio on. The DJ played the old Yvonne Fair song, It Should Have Been Me – that’s the song about a jilted woman who stands up and objects in the church at her ex’s wedding. In fact, the book was called It Should Have Been Me in the UK and the story is partly about the characters regrets about what might have happened if events had taken a different turn –and how they can move forward to a new life. I thought a road trip would be the perfect vehicle to get the characters up close and personal – and help them work out their new paths in life.
4. Give me three reasons why readers will fall for your book.
1. Matt – referred to as ‘a Dirty Mr. Darcy’ by one of the characters. He’s gorgeous and infuriating, funny and very very sexy.
2. Carrie – she’s a bit of a drama queen anyway and losing her fiancé, home and livelihood in one fell swoop almost tips her over the edge. I hope her journey back from a very unhappy place will make readers laugh and cry.
3. Dolly. The bright orange vintage campervan which Carrie and Matt use for their road trip. We hired a vintage van (called Bill) for research and let me tell you, they are fun but very quirky vehicles…
5. Who would play Rowena and Matt if a movie was being made?
Do you mean Carrie? She’s feisty, funny and a bit of a firecracker so I think she’d have to be played by an actress who can do comedy and poignancy – someone like Sophie Winkleman (who is married to a minor royal called Lord Frederick Windsor!) As for Matt, as he was inspired by a photo of Richard Armitage that appeared in the Sunday Times magazine, so I can only say that Richard has to be Matt! I know who’d be perfect for Rowena, Carrie’s best friend – a very funny English comedy actress called Katherine Parkinson.
6. Could you tell me a bit about your other books too since you have published a few?
I’ve had five books published so far. Four of them were previously published in the UK and are now being released by Sourcebooks, including Carrie Goes off the Map. I think the best way of summing up my books is to use a quote from my Sourcebooks editor, Deb Werksman, who sends every one of her authors a Happy Holidays greeting via the Casablanca blog. My greeting read:
“Phillipa Ashley – just the right amount of fun, poignancy, snark and British wit”
That makes me smile whenever I see it!
7. Last question, any advice to writers out there?
There is so much conflicting advice that I hesitate to add my own in case I’m sending someone down the wrong path. That’s the whole crux about writing, you have to find your own way in terms of your voice, your genre and creative process. However, it’s a given that you should try to be true to your own personality when you write and work hard at honing your craft. Oh, and never give up (and most writers, even multi-published ones feel like giving up at some point, even if they’d never let on!)
Thanks for inviting me onto your blog and Happy Holidays to you and all of your readers!
1 copy of Carrie goes off the map
1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends Jan 5
3. Just enter 🙂 There is nothing more to it than that