Phillipa Ashley, the author of the very sexy Dating Mr. December (my review) to The Book Chick today! Ms. Ashley has kindly stopped by to answer a few of my questions, and I'm also giving away two copies of her book!
The Book Chick: You are the author of four published novels. What is your writing routine like?
Phillipa Ashley: As well as writing novels, I also work as a copywriter, so each day begins with a judgement of which is calling me loudest. Sometimes I get up early and write in pyjamas on my laptop. Later I go upstairs to my office to try and get into ‘professional’ mode. By four pm I’m desperate to get out so I head for the health club and go swimming in the outdoor pool or workout. Then I reward myself with a cappuccino and the newspapers. I get back about six pm and then I often work on the book again until my husband comes home. Some of the time after dinner is spent social networking or dealing with emails, etc. from my US publisher and readers. The trouble is that when I fall into bed at midnight, you folk are all coming home from work and ready to party!
TBC: What was your journey to publication like?
PA: I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time because Dating Mr. December was my first novel. I spent a year writing and revising it and eventually a friend persuaded me to send it off to a London agent. It hit the spot with her and she sold it to a UK publisher –and now Sourcebooks are publishing all my books which is a dream come true.
TBC: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
PA: Well, I can only say that this has worked for me: I read across all genres, read lots of magazines and newspapers and watch plenty of TV drama, comedy and film as well as studying romantic fiction. I think a multitude of influences has helped develop my voice.
TBC: Your book Dating Mr. December was the inspiration for the Lifetime TV movie “12 Men of Christmas.” Did you get any input into the screenplay? How did it feel to see your book turned into a movie?
PA: I had zero input into the screenplay. Once you sign that contract, your book is not your own – and that’s a good thing because I know absolutely nothing about writing US TV movies! When I heard it was going to be a film, I actually couldn’t breathe for a few seconds and almost fell off my office chair. From then on, I decided to enjoy the journey and accept that book and film are always going to be two very different things. The day my family visited the set in The Rockies was one of the most exciting and surreal of my life.
TBC: What books are on your nightstand right now? What books are you raving about?
PA: All I Ever Wanted by RITA winner, Kristan Higgins (The Book Chick's note: I loved this one)
Take a Chance on Me by UK romantic novelist, Jill Mansell (Me again: I loved this one too!)
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Cranford Chronicles by Elizabeth Gaskell
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson. The funniest book on the British way of life I ever read – and it’s by an American!
Thank-you so much to Phillipa Ashley for stopping by today! Courtesy of Sourcebooks I have two copies of Dating Mr. December to give away. This will make a fun read both before and after the holidays!
1. *Mandatory Entry* Dating Mr. December was made into the holiday Lifetime movie 12 Men of Christmas. Just for fun, tell me what your favourite Christmas movie is. Please include your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. No e-mail= no entry!
2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and leave me a separate comment to let me know that you now follow. Current followers are eligible as well, just leave me a comment.
3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest in some way. Tweet it, Facebook it, blog about it or add it to your sidebar. Make sure that you let me know what you did in a separate comment below.
This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only, and runs until December 13, 2010 at midnight. Winners will be notified by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!