Friday, 13 October 2017

Q & A with Phillipa Ashley

1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

I always loved writing features rather than stories so I worked in journalism and copywriting until I was 41 when I started writing my first novel: then I realised what I wanted to do with the rest of my life

2.    How did your writing career develop?

I joined the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme and was lucky enough to get my debut novel published my Headline. Since then I’ve had a few  lows and many highs along the way to the current wonderful time I’m enjoying at the moment with Avon Books.

3.    Your newest novel is called Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles: The Driftwood Inn, what is it about?

It’s about Maisie, who quits her job managing a busy Cornish pub to run her parents’ inn on the Isles of Scilly. She’s looking forward to a proper family Christmas for the first time in years but can’t forget the previous Christmas – and the day she lost everything.

4.    What was your inspiration for the book?

Coming across a tiny pub set on an idyllic beach on one of the smallest isles of Scilly.

5.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Maisie is approaching her 40th birthday and after a very tough year, is starting to feel she will have to give up on some of her most cherished hopes and dreams. But she’s a real fighter too and when handsome Australian walks into her pub, she dares to dream again.

6.    Where and when do you write your stories?

I can work anywhere but most of the time I write in the peace of my home in a country village in Staffordshire.

7.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I love exploring the countryside and wild places – on foot or by bike. Most of all I love swimming and bodyboarding in the sea.

8.    If you could switch places with characters from a book, who would it be and why?

I’d love to be Elizabeth Bennet when she refuses to promise not to marry Darcy and tells Lady Catherine to leave Longbourne.

9.    What books have influenced your life most?

Pride & Prejudice, North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell and the Poldark series.

10.   What are you working on at the moment?

Spring on the Little Cornish Isles: the Flower Farm

11.   What do you enjoy most about writing?

Finishing the book!

12.   Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

Jane Austen – I’d like to ask who her favourite hero was.

13.   Imagine Christmas at the Little Cornish Isles: The Driftwood Inn would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

Chris Hemsworth as Patrick.
Anna Friel as Maisie.

14.   You have also published other books, can you tell us more about them?

Wow. There are 18 others so not space to tell you all about them here but they’re all romantic fiction with (I hope) gorgeous settings that have inspired me and characters you’ll love – and love to hate!

15.   How do your own experiences influence your writing?

I think every experience a writer, trivial or momentous, eventually finds its way into a book often at the most unexpected moments.

16.   Coffee or tea?


17.   Paperback or e-reader?

Paperback at the moment as I spend my whole life on a screen

18.   Mountains or the sea?


19.   Summer or winter?


20.   Sweet or salty?

Salty if it involves crisps

About the book

Christmas has arrived on the Cornish Isles of Scilly, bringing mistletoe, surprises and more than a sprinkle of romance . . . Fans of Poldark and Carole Matthews will love this brand-new festive read from the author of the bestselling Cornish Café series.
For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is the perfect book to snuggle up with this Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fab wee read, I love the inspirations behind it.
    Cora ❤