Sunday, 16 June 2013
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to be part of the Fiction Addiction Book Tour for It Happened One Night by the lovely Phillip Ashley. Phillip very kindly agreed to sit in the
Hot Seat Interview Chair and
answer some questions. But before the interview lets find out a bit about the
About the author:
British author, 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 novels have been published by Headline Little Black Dress, Piatkus Entice and Samhain Publishing.
She started writing fiction in 2005, after being inspired by the BBC TV drama, North & South. Her first novel, Decent Exposure -titled Dating Mr December for the US – topped the Play.com Romance chart and won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award 2007. In 2009, it was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins. Having her novel made into a movie inspiredIt Happened One Night which is published in June 2013.
Her most recent book for Piatkus Entice is Miranda’s Mount which won Best e book at the Festival of Romance Reader Awards 2012.
Her books have been translated into many languages including Thai, Turkish, Bulgarian and Russian. In the US, four of her books have been published by Sourcebooks and reached the Amazon.com Romance Top 20. She was a judge for the RNA Love Story of the Year 2011 and has interviewed many interesting people during her career as a journalist including the writers, Ian Rankin and Sir John Mortimer and actors Richard Armitage, Robert Powell and Nigel Havers.
Phillipa lives in Staffordshire with her husband and daughter and loves Champagne, Jane Austen, hiking, surfing and body boarding. She also loves visiting her apartment in the Lake District as often as possible, the setting for It Happened One Night.
She is represented by the Wade & Doherty Literary Agency and Sayle Screen.
So, without further ado, lets hear from the lady herself!
JB: Did you, at any point of writing It Happened One Night, make any major changes to the plot or did you remain fairly focused on keeping to the original plot?
Phillipa: Like many authors, I didn’t have a ‘detailed’ plot outline at the start of the novel because it’s during the writing process, that you discover your characters and they lead the plot. I tend to do an ‘exploratory draft’ and then rewrite several times so yes, there have been major changes to the plot!
JB: How long, from initial planning to final edits did it take you to write the book?
Phillipa: Normally, it takes me around a year to complete a 90,000 word mainstream book from start to finish but with It Happened One Night. I’d dabbled with the story over a few years, while writing other projects too. I finally settled down to focus on it in 2012.
JB: Where did the idea for It Happened One Night come from?
Phillipa: Three main elements came together: I’d had the idea for the main premise – love lost and then possibly rediscovered – at the same time as the characters, Sophie and Adam, who are two young people who inhabit different worlds within the same tiny village. I’d always loved costume drama and thought the romantic Lakeland setting would be the perfect backdrop for their story.
JB: Your apartment in the Lake District is the setting for It Happened One Night. Are there any other places that have influenced your writing?
Phillipa: Our holiday flat in Ambleside was actually the setting for my first novel Decent Exposure. It’s a different house ‘that got away’ which features in It Happened One Night.Years ago, we’d tried to buy an old copperminer’s cottage high above Coniston Water and that’s the one I based Sophie’s home on. I love dramatic scenic settings such as Corsica, Provence and Cornwall – my last book was set on a fictional St Michael’s Mount style island.
JB: Who is the most interesting person you have ever met and have they influenced the creation of any of your characters in this book or any of your others? Or, is that a secret?
Phillipa: That’s a great question ... I don’t think one person has ever morphed into a character but I do draw inspiration for traits and attitudes from all sorts of people. My first ever piece of fiction was a fanfic based on John Thornton from North & South but since then, I’ve created my own characters.
JB: Do you write every day and if so how much time do you devote to writing?
Phillip: I write around 6 days a week, usually for around 2-5 hours a day but I also have a copywriting business on top of that.
JB: Do you have any plans in the pipeline for another book?
Phillipa: Always. See below!
JB: Are there any other subjects you’d like to write about or venture into a whole new genre?
Phillipa: I’ve lots of ideas for books buzzing round my head and have started a new contemporary romance. As for new genres, I have recently completed two erotic romances – the first one will be published in September 2013.
JB: You won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award 2007. How does it feel to win an award for your writing?
Phillipa: It’s a lovely feeling because I never really expected to win, as there were 11 contenders that year, all with great romantic reads. My last book Miranda’s Mount also won the Festival of Romance Best e book in 2012 – and I didn’t expect that either! Winning awards is always a welcome boost of self confidence– for a little while at least!
JB: How does it feel to see one of your books made into a TV movie and were you happy with the end result?
Phillpa: The morning I heard that Decent Exposurewas going to be made into a movie was possibly the second most exciting of my career- I found out via a Google alert and almost fell off my chair. The most exciting moment was visiting the set in the Rockies with my family. The movie is quite different from my book, but I still loved watching the screenwriter’s fun take on my work though I admit it was pretty surreal, to see my characters and dialogue come to life on the big screen.
JB: Do you have any advice to any budding authors out there? Any words of wisdom?
Phillipa: In these tough times, it’s even more difficult to get a mainstream publishing deal with a Big 6 publisher. On the plus side there are some very exciting smaller and indie publishers out there so I’d advise aspiring authors to write what *they* love writing and then look around for a publisher. You need to be persistent and never give up and that means you must love what you write in order to maintain that spark and keep on going through the inevitable ups and downs of your career.
Thank you so much Phillipa. A very enjoyable interview! Phillipa is also hosting a competition over at her blog so head on over there now by clicking on the link COMPETITION.
It Happend One Night was released on 06.06.2013 and is published as an e-book by Piatkus Entice.
Ten years later, no one is more shocked than Sophie to find him back in the village. Now an up-and-coming film director, he's returned to make a drama about a notorious local poet and brought his glamorous cast, crew - and girlfriend - with him. As the on-screen drama plays out, can Sophie and Adam lay the past to rest or will history repeat itself?