A Quick Q & A Session with Phillipa Ashley.
Hi Phillipa. The Romaniacs have a few questions for you.
Q: Which three main qualities do you think a writer needs to succeed?
Persistence, a willingness to learn (and not necessarily from writing courses or workshops – ducks down behind the sofa) and unshakeable belief that there’s something unique about your writing.
Q: If you could choose any setting/place (money no object and all stationery/equipment provided) in which to write your next novel, where would you jet/walk/ride/ off to?
Q: If you could be any of your heroines, which one and why?
Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d like to be all of them but on a dream day, I’d be Emma from Decent Exposure in the morning so I could go walking with Will, Lucy from Just Say Yes in the afternoon so I could go sailing with Josh. In the evening, I’d be Miranda from Miranda’s Mount and watch the sun set from the battlements of my castle with a certain Lord St Merryn.
Q: Do you have any phobias and if so have you ever worked them into your novels?
I hate heights and my palms sweat just seeing people on TV on cliff edges and I can’t stand my daughter or husband standing near the edges of buildings etc. I tried abseiling as research for Decent Exposure, and whinged for half an hour at the top before I stepped off the edge –- it’s really easy once you’ve stepped off but I wouldn’t do it again.
I can’t remember, I’ve made so many weird requests…
Q: Did you get the response you were expecting?
Um. Probably not but I’ve been very entertained!
Q: Would you consider writing in any other genre, if so, which?
I have an urge to write something very wicked but have been advised not to. Shame.
I have actually asked the RNA if Richard Armitage, Dan Stevens or Michael Fassbender could present the RONAs – but getting those guys to do it would be the easy part. The hard part would be getting shortlisted and winning the award!
Q: As a member of the RNA, are you a NWS reader?
I did one script a few years ago: it took me weeks and I had the most awful sense of treading on someone’s dreams. I’ve always felt I didn’t know enough myself to tell other people what to do and this business is so subjective, you have to be careful who you listen to. But I’ve got a bit more experience now so feel more confident about giving talks and I’d love to be of some use. In fact, I’d be interested to know what the Romaniacs find most helpful from author talks and workshops – and what they’d like to hear from me, if anything!
Q: What makes you laugh?
Almost everything. Would I Lie to You? Withnail & I, 10 Things I Hate About You and any modern stand-up comedy that’s not cruel/offensive in a Frankie Boyle way. I love Doc Martin and Miranda (named the new heroine partly after her) and Nell Dixon’s one-liners and Christina Jones’ novels. The opening to Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island once had me stretched out on a sofa, crying with laughter for several minutes and I also wept at a recent Dara O Briain gig.
Q: Paramedics or Mountain Rescue?
Mountain Rescue of course.
Q: VW Camper van or 5 star hotel?
Q: Surfing or dancing?
Surfing. I can’t dance. But then again, I can’t surf yet either!
Q: Cake or chocolate?
Cake by a whisper.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our quickie questions. Please now tell us about your new books.
Thank you for having me – setting up a NWS group was a brilliant idea, if you don’t mind me saying so.
I’ve recently signed a deal with the new Piatkus Entice imprint and my contemporary romance, Miranda’s Mount, is out in October but first I have two books out at the start of June.
In the US, Sourcebooks are releasing Just Say Yes which is a contemporary rom com that also takes a dig at reality show culture. Book Depository also has the gorgeousUS edition with free delivery anywhere in the world, if readers don’t have it yet.
You can find out more at http://www.phillipa-ashley.com/ or follow me on Twitter @PhillipaAshley or Like my Facebook page.