Here author of 'A Perfect Cornish Escape' Phillipa Ashley reaveals to seven important things she would like her readers to know about her, from her absailing to her pieces about screws!
I love surfing.
OK, strictly speaking, I love body boarding which is an entirely different thing. Body boarding is the version that I can do without pulling a muscle while trying to ‘pop-up’ – or be hauled from the sea after being churned under the board like a sock in a washing machine. I own two wetsuits so I can go all year round. The problem is I live 200 miles from any decent surf… It’s the first thing I’m going do when we’re able to travel.
When I first read Pride & Prejudice, I hated it.
Now it’s my all-time favourite book. We had to read it for ‘O’ Level English and frankly, I was underwhelmed until my best mate said it was brilliant and made me think again. I re-read it and have devoured anything by Austen ever since and can quote chunks of it. It’s still as fresh and funny today. After all, we all know a Mrs Bennet or someone with a touch of the Mr Collins about them…
My debut novel was made into a TV movie.
When a Hollywood producer emailed me to ask if the rights to my book were available, I thought he was a charlatan. However, he turned out to be legit and in 2009, he adapted my debut romance, Decent Exposure, into a Lifetime movie called 12 Men of Christmas which is on TV every festive season. My family and I travelled to the Rockies to see the filming and it’s still the highlight of my writing career.
I have abseiled and been a film ‘extra’ in the name of research.
It’s a toss-up which I found most terrifying and I’ve never repeated either of them. However, I have loved some of the other research I’ve done in fascinating places, from a flower farm on the Isles of Scilly to a genetics lab in London. For my latest book, A Perfect Cornish Escape, I visited a coastal lookout station on the wild Cornish coast.
I used to write about screws and air-conditioning for a living.
Before I became a full-time author, I worked as a copywriter. It was my job to wax lyrical about my clients’ latest super screw or fancy forklift. All the while I longed to return to a romantic scene in my latest novel. I’m so lucky that it became my day job.
I interviewed some interesting people when I worked as a local journalist.
Brian Blessed was probably the most fun! He gave me plenty of quotes as you’d imagine… Tim Henman was charming and I was in awe when I sat down with of one of my writing heroes, Ian Rankin. I still go into a fan mode when I meet authors, and totally forget I’m one myself. They are like rock stars to me.
I can’t wait to visit wild and beautiful places again.
I’ve found not being able to visit the sea and mountains the hardest part about the lockdown but I feel very fortunate that my job involves travelling there in my imagination. It’s a real joy when readers say that my stories have enabled them to escape to a happier world during these very difficult and stressful times.
A perfect Cornish Escape is published by Avon Harper Collins and released on the Thursday 11th June 2020