I’m delighted to be joined by Phillipa Ashley today. Phillipa’s latest novel, A Special Cornish Christmas, was published by Avon Books earlier this month and it sounds a perfect heart-warming Christmas read. Here’s Phillipa to tell us about the book and some of her plans for Christmas.
Thanks for joining me today Phillipa. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I started writing fiction in late 2004, after being inspired by a BBC TV drama called North & South. I’ve now written 27 books under four pen names which I wouldn’t have believed possible if you’d told me back then! I draw a lot of my inspiration from the landscape, history and people of beautiful places like Cornwall and the Lake District. I live right in the heart England in a Staffordshire village with my husband, where we love walking and cycling in the rolling countryside. My perfect day would be bodyboarding on a Cornish beach with my husband, daughter and her partner.
In a nutshell, what is your Christmas book about?
A Special Cornish Christmas features Bo, who runs the busy Boatyard Café in the Cornish village of Falford. Bo and her friends from her rock and roll dace group meet a mysterious fortune teller, who gives each of them same prediction: You will meet the love of your life by Christmas Day. Bo dismisses it as nonsense. She doesn’t believe in magic and definitely isn’t ready to open her heart again…
It’s a fun, light-hearted look at whether our lives are guided by fate – or whether our destiny is in our own hands. Or maybe a little bit of both…
Do you still keep any Christmas traditions from your childhood?
Not from childhood, but for the past squillion years, we’ve always loved choosing a real tree from the Forestry Commission. Wrapping up warm and heading there, and finding the perfect tree means Christmas has really started for me.
How do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year?
Hopefully with our parents, daughter and her partner. It’s been a tough year in many ways so I’ll be more than thankful just to see us all sitting around the table.
What’s your favourite Christmas film?
I suppose I have to say – mine! I was lucky enough to have my debut novel, Decent Exposure made into a Lifetime movie called 12 Men of Christmas. You can probably see it on the Christmas channel.
And a favourite Christmas song?
As research for A Special Cornish Christmas, I listened to dozens of vintage Christmas tunes through the spring and summer! Many feature in the book and two of my favourites are Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and Santa Bring my Baby Back to Me by Elvis.
Do you have a favourite Christmas book?
It isn’t a book, more a scene… but one of the stories that will live forever in my memory is from What Katy Did at School, when the Carr sisters’ Christmas box is the only one that gets through the blizzard to their boarding school. Their family and friends have all sent gifts and they share the contents to all the girls who are snowed in. I used to re-read it over and over as a comfort read when I was young.
What Christmas book are you looking forward to reading this year?
It’s a thriller actually! I’ll be curling up on Boxing Day with Devil’s Table by Kate Rhodes, which is set on the Isles of Scilly (and has a super sexy detective hero called DI Ben Kitto.)
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
Twitter – @PhillipaAshley
Facebook author page – Phillipa Ashley | Facebook
Join my friendly reader group at Phillipa Ashley Readers | Facebook
Instagram – phillipa.ashleyauthor
And finally, what’s the best Christmas present you ever received?
The best was a phone call from my husband’s cousin one Christmas morning to say she was expecting a baby in her mid-forties after multiple rounds of IVF. I was in absolute bits and lunch was late. Last year, I also cried when my husband presented me with framed pictures of the Sunday Times best seller charts showing my book at number 6 – it had taken me 25 books to get there.
Now that is lovely news to get at Christmas time! Thanks for taking part in my Festive Spotlight.
You should be able to buy or order a copy of A Special Cornish Christmas at your usual book retailer.
You’ll also find buying links on the Avon website here: A Special Cornish Christmas