Today I have a guest author, Phillipa Ashley, who is talking about The Festival of Romance at Hunton Park near Watford on the 21st and 22nd of October.
Award-winning British author, Phillipa Ashley, loves writing sexy, funny contemporary romantic fiction. After studying English Language and Literature at Wadham College, Oxford, she worked as a copywriter and journalist.
Her first novel, Decent Exposure won the 2007 Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award and was filmed as a US TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins.
Her latest releases are Wish You Were Here and Fever Cure, with Carrie Goes off the Map available in the US from November 30th 2011,
I asked Phillipa, What are you going to be doing at the Festival?
I’m rather hoping to simply enjoy myself! I’m very much at the festival as a ‘civilian’ and looking forward to meeting fellow readers and authors of romantic fiction. I’ll also be at the Authors’ Coffee Club and if anyone wants to come and chat to me about writing, books or anything else, that would be lovely.
What else are you looking forward to at the Festival?
I’ll be there on Friday and wish I could clone myself for one day to attend every session. I’m definitely planning to attend the Talk of the Ton. I write very contemporary stories but I’ve recently started to read Regencies. The Research session looks fascinating too. I enjoy doing hands on research for my books and so far I’ve been abseiling, diving, and surfing and taken a road trip in a vintage camper van for my books – in fact, that road trip was the source of my forthcoming US release, Carrie Goes off the Map. There’s also a self-publishing workshop, an area no one can afford to ignore these days and naturally, I aim to be in the front row of the chocolate making workshop.
Why should people come to the Festival?
For all the above reasons: there’s something to interest everyone; readers, industry experts and authors. I’m amazed at how the organisers have managed to pack so much into a packed programme, with a mix of informative and fun sessions. That’s what attracted me to the Festival: it looks like a day I’ll thoroughly enjoy.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you deal with it?
I started writing fiction six years ago and so far I haven’t had writer’s block as such. However, I have had periods when I choose not to write. I’m in awe of those authors who move from one book to another with hardly a day between, or have multiple projects on the go, but that’s not for me. After finishing one, I get as far away from writing as possible, preferably into the great outdoors, and I find ideas usually strike when my mind is relaxed and least expecting it. Once a book is underway, the story rattles along quite quickly.
Where do you write?
I wrote my last manuscript on my laptop, in front of the TV, listing to the radio and at the dining table – even outside in the sun a few times. Parts of my first novel, Decent Exposure were actually written in the place it is set – the Lake District. Dramatic landscapes always inspire me; I imagine who might live there, why they might have escaped there and how I can turn their stories into a sexy, funny, emotional romance.
Thank you, Phillipa, for being a guest on my blog and I hope to see you, along with other old and new friends at the Festival of Romance on the 21st and 22nd of October.