A Word's Worth (AWW):You have 2 books releasing right now - can you tell us a little about them?
Phillipa Ashley (PA): I have two re-releases out. Just Say Yes is a romantic comedy which is now available as a US edition. (See my review here).
Samhain has also published Fever Cure in a paperback edition. This is a steamy, sexy contemporary romance:
The road to heartbreak is paved with honorable intentions…
After a year dealing with her mum’s health scare and the end of a bad relationship, Keira Grayson was looking forward to kicking up her heels at her best friend’s wedding. Until she kicks off her (spare) knickers in front of the trifecta of perfection. Tom Carew. Son of an earl, honorable doctor and possibly the hottest man on the planet.
One look at Keira’s delightful embarrassment, and Tom’s hormone meter spins off the charts. Trouble is, his bags are already packed to return to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. He has patients waiting—and amends to make for a terrible choice that left devastation in its wake.
They both reason that indulging in a one-time dinner date won’t hurt…until their inhibitions melt away in the heat of their lethal sexual chemistry. Leaving Keira wondering if a sizzling fling is just what the doctor ordered, or another prescription for relationship disaster. And Tom fighting a battle against inner demons that could shatter both their hearts.
AWW: And you've mentioned something about a third book - what do we have to look forward to?
PA: The new book is called Miranda’s Mount and will be available worldwide from October 4th 2012. It’s actually my first brand new book since 2011 and my first longer contemporary romance - so I’m incredibly excited about it. It’s being published as an e book first by Piatkus Entice who are part of the UK-based Little Brown Group. I’m thrilled to work with them and they have been very enthusiastic about Miranda’s Mount which is always a huge help.
Miranda is one of those rare books that was a dream to write: the idea came to me on a long car journey. I remember saying to my husband and daughter: I know what the next book will be. I know what the setting is, who the hero and heroine are and why they can’t be together. As soon as I got home, I started writing it and didn’t stop. My agent loved it and eventually, I received several offers for it. I wish all books were like that!
AWW: Does it get confusing, as an author, to have multiple projects going on at once? Is it easier to have projects moving at the same pace or at different points in the process (i.e. both in writing, or one writing and one editing)?
PA: Well, having books at different stages of production is par for the course as an author. For instance, right now, I have just finished the final proof checks on Miranda’s Mount and I’m coming towards the end of writing my 2013 release for Piatkus Entice. I’ve also been promoting my previous books. It can get quite tiring and it seems odd to refocus on stories from a few years ago but somehow it gets done. However, for a couple of months now the promotion of those US books is over, I plan to focus solely on the current wip which will be a wonderful luxury.
AWW: Once you finish a manuscript - or manuscripts - what do you do to 'rest your brain'? Favorite celebratory activity or fun read?
PA: I try to do anything that involves being outdoors: I go to the health club for a swim or the gym about 4 or 5 days a week. I also like going for a walk in the country but my ultimate pleasure is to go bodyboarding in Devon or Cornwall. I’ve had a few surfing lessons but I still can’t stand up although I’ve used the experience in Miranda’s Mount where the hero, Jago, is a surfer (as well as being an Earl.)
I always read the newspapers after a workout; they’re free at the health club and I often read 2 or 3 different ones. I get ideas for books from there. I read romance, of course, but I don’t seek out books because they are labelled as a particular heat level. The idea of avoiding a book because it might be ‘naughty’ seems strange to me! If I like the author, I read the book and it can be chaste or very very steamy.
AWW: Do you have a favorite snack or drink for when you're writing?
PA: I do enjoy a biscuit: ginger crinkle crunch for preference. I used to mainline strong coffee but for health reasons I’ve had to switch to decaff coffee and tea.
AWW: Where do you do your best writing? Brainstorming?
PA: My most productive brainstorming locations are when I’m a passenger on a long car journey and on the exercise bike at the gym! Somehow, I find story ideas and plot solutions just pop into my mind at these times, often unbidden. I tend to write best early in the morning and just before dinner.
AWW: What about your favorite place to read?
PA: I do most of my reading in bed and er... somewhere else I’m too ashamed to admit to...
Thanks for having me at A Word’s Worth!
Thanks, Phillipa, for a fun Q&A session! Now I really want to make a batch of gingersnaps ...