Guest Post: Phillipa Ashley

I'm taking a slight detour from the Peachtree blog tour for The Universe of Fair today to play host to Phillipa Ashley, who is in the midst of celebrating the launch of her latest novel Miranda's Mount. Phillipa, who I've gotten to know a little via facebook, tells a great story -- I reviewed Just Say Yes over the summer, and thoroughly enjoyed her writing style. I'm also crazy intrigued by the newest novel (isn't that cover so much fun? I heart British novels, I really do!), and Phillipa's guest post just whets my appetite more ...

... Without further ado, grab a cookie (or two), sit back and see what Phillipa has to say on the topic of "New Love vs. Old Love" ...

You could argue that romance novels have two basic premises. New lovers meet or old ones rediscover their passion for each other e.g. P&P vs Persuasion.

I’ve tackled both scenarios in my 7 novels to date and I’ve found there are distinct challenges of when you’re writing about lovers reunited or strangers meeting.

My first novel, Decent Exposure, was about Emma, who flees to the Lake District to start a new life and there she persuades a mountain rescue team to pose nude for a fundraising calendar. She also comes up against opposition from the gorgeous but combative Will who disagrees with her ideas.

Emma and Will are strangers when they meet so you have all the fun of two people, with opposing ideas and personalities, sparking off each other – with the spark of sexual attraction right from the start. Gradually, they start to uncover and understand the issues that are keeping them apart. But you have to work hard to create that powerful sense of attraction and gradual falling from lust to love throughout the book. It has to be paced properly so that the reader really believes in the couple’s bumpy path to love.

With my second novel, Wish You Were Here, I deliberately set out to explore what would happen when two people who had been deeply in love, were reunited many years later. With this scenario, you have the deep and poignant emotion there on the page from the first page. The reader knows the couple once loved each other – and your task as a writer is to show why they split up and also get them back together eventually. I think it’s probably more of a challenge to have old loves reunited, as you have to dig deep to have a strong and credible reason for them splitting up and staying apart.

But no book is easy to write and romance is so character driven that emotions and motivation are everything.

Since then I’ve written both types of romance but my new one, out now from Piatkus Entice is the Strangers Meet premise – although the heroine, Miranda, has heard a little about the hero, Jago, before the book starts, his arrival is a shock and he proceeds to turn her whole world upside down – her home, her work and her emotions. Jago is Miranda’s biggest ever challenge but perhaps, it’s he who really needs to examine his life choices, rather than her.

Phillipa Ashley
I’ve also just finished the manuscript of a new novel, which is most definitely old lovers reunited and is probably my most intense and emotional novel so far. It was challenging in a different way, but has been incredibly satisfying to write. The relationships in it are very tangled and at times it has seemed impossible to me that the couple will ever get together...

We’ll have to see what happens.

Thank you for having me on the blog Rebecca. I’d love to know what readers and writers think about the two different scenarios .

Thank you, Phillipa, for agreeing to discuss love with us! I know I personally love both scenarios, and it's hard to pick a favorite. New Love romances offer hope that out there, somewhere, is still Someone New To Meet -- but Old Love? Ah, now there's a promise for you: a shared past, a love tested and strained - but not broken ... They both present such compelling storylines, and real-life encouragements.

No comments:

Post a Comment