Friday, December 2, 2011

Interview and Giveaway: Phillipa Ashley

Please join me in welcoming Phillipa Ashley to Debbie's Book Bag today. Phillipa is here to talk about her latest release, Carrie Goes Off the Map. The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Phillipa's book, see details at the end of the post.

DEB: Phillipa, tell us a little bit about yourself?
PA: I live in a small village in the heart of England with my husband and sometimes my daughter, who is at university studying for a PhD. I’ve always loved reading, especially crime, comedy and adventure – but I didn’t start reading romance until I began writing it seven years ago (see below!) I enjoy movies and the theatre but most of all, I love getting into the great outdoors and I’m learning to surf, which was inspired by writing about surfers in Carrie Goes off the Map!  

DEB: Tell us about your book, Carrie Goes off the Map
PA: The idea for this book came to me one morning when I heard Radio 2 play the old Yvonne Fair song, It Should Have Been me. That’s the song where the jilted bride stands up in the church and objects when her ex tries to marry another woman! I wondered what sort of heartbreak could drive a woman to crash her ex’s wedding in such a dramatic way and how would she ever pick herself up from there? Then I hit on the idea of having her take a real journey… and a road trip in a tiny campervan seemed the perfect way to do it.

DEB: What was your inspiration for this book? Have you always written women’s fiction?
PA: Until almost exactly seven years ago, although I worked as a freelance copywriter, I’d never written any fiction, not even a short story. All that changed one night in November 2004 when I saw a TV costume drama called North & South. That series inspired me to write a fanfic and I’ve been hooked ever since. In fact, I picture Dr Matt Landor, the hero of Carrie Goes off the Map, as Richard Armitage… 

DEB: What is your normal writing day like? Do you have to have specific things in place to write comfortably?
PA: I try to use my main office PC for writing commercial work and write my novels on my laptop. I know it’s bad for my posture but I often write my novels on the sofa with the TV on low! I have to have Earl Grey tea by me which reminds me, I must put the kettle on again…

DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
PA: To work hard at honing their skills and developing and having confidence in their own voice. Also to realize that routes to reaching readers are changing rapidly and to embrace e books and online networking alongside traditional print publishing.

DEB:  What was your reaction when you found out your first book would be published?
PA: Ecstatic. My agent phoned to tell me about the offer and I burst into tears and called my daughter into the office to tell her – then my agent cried too!

DEB: When you are not writing, what do you like to read? Do you have a favorite genre or author? 
PA: I read romance, of course, and like sexy contemporaries and rom coms by authors such as Jill Shalvis, Jill Mansell, Nell Dixon and Katie Fforde. One of my fave books of this year was a romantic historical pirate adventure by Louise Allen – it won the RNA Love Story of the Year, for which I was a judge. I also enjoy comedy and non-fiction, especially Bill Bryson and glossy books about camping, hiking, surfing and the sea… well, I can dream, can’t I?

DEB: What books coming out in the latter part of 2011 are you looking forward to? Yours and other authors? 
PA: With Carrie out on December 1st, I have my hands full but on my Kindle, I just read a hot contemporary by Bella Andre about a hot shot firefighter and downloaded a fun rom com by a UK author called Sue Moorcroft. Plus I have a new title out with Sourcebooks in 2012 called Just Say Yes!

DEB: What are you currently working on?
PA: I’ve just finished a new romance that I’m very excited about. It’s set in an island castle in Cornwall and features a history loving heroine and a very sexy, bad boy hero who happens to be an earl!

DEB:  Tell us one thing that readers may not know about you?
PA: I once met the Phantom of the Opera in his dressing room….he was totally charming.


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley.

~ You must be Google Friend Connect follower or an E-mail subscriber to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST December 16th

1. Please leave a meaningful comment or question for the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Phillipa said...

Many thanks for having me on the Book Bag, Debbie!

holdenj said...

I just read my first Phillipa Ashley novel earlier this year! (Wish You Were Here). The new novel looks wonderful, thanks for the info and chance to win!

Ricki said...

I'll admit to never having read you, but I saw your post about your new book on The British Babes Book Brigade and thought it sounded fun!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds fun.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

Another new to me author!! I just love finding them. Your book sounds really great and I look forward to reading it.

Phillipa said...

Hi everyone - just back from getting our Christmas tree from the forest centre. Thank you for all the comments - J Holden, glad you enjoyed the other book - and yes, do visit the British Book Babes on Facebook!

lag123 said...

I don't think I have ever read an English contemporary. I would love to start with this one. Thanks for the opportunity.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

karenk said...

hi phillipa...just wondering if you had any 'say' in the design of this novels cover.

thanks for the chance to read it :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Tore said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I can't wait to read the book. It sounds really good.

mamabunny13 said...

I have Wish You Were Here on my Santa list! I'm looking forward to reading it and would also love to win a copy of Carrie Goes Off The Map!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Angela said...

This book sounds like a really good book. I too wonder what would make a woman stand up and try to stop their ex from remarrying. I enjoyed reading your interview and learning about you. Phillipa is a new author to me and I would enjoy trying her book. Thank you for the chance to win and I am glad my mom showed me your blog.


griperang at embarqmail dot com

Phillipa said...

Hi everyone!

karenk - Sourcebooks send out a sheet asking for lots of details about the book, characters, setting etc before they do the design. So we do have input into the initial design. They do several versions and always ask author feedback - if you could see the rear of the cover, you'd see it has a little campervan travelling along - just like the one in the book.

Phillipa said...

mamabunny - hope you enjoy Wish You Were Here and Carrie. :)

*yadkny* said...

Hi Phillipa!

I would love to live in a small village in the heart of England... sounds romantically cozy:) Carrie Goes off the Map sounds fantastic! Oh I love dramatics! Now I'm really jealous though... you met the Phantom of the Opera in his dressing room!?! And he was charming!?! Incredible!

Thanks for the giveaway!