I met Trisha Ashley through the RNA – firstly on a loop, and then in person. We’ve had conversations about gorgeous Robert Plant on the stairs at posh dos. We both like dogs and chocolate – and her books are fabulous, funny and clever and romantic. And she presented me with the RNA Award in 2008 for Breakfast at Giovanni’s, so obviously that gets her an extra hug from me ;o) I’m thrilled to have her here as a guest today.
Over to Trisha (picture courtesy of Louise Marley) :
First of all, I’d like to say thank you to Kate for inviting me onto her Blog: I’m so happy to be here, meeting friends old and new.
I’d also like to give an especially big thank you to those of you who’ve already read my new book, Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues, and emailed, written in my website guestbook, or reviewed it kindly on Amazon or elsewhere. This really does mean a lot to me – and so does the book itself, because I actually was born in a room over the small shoe shop my mother opened in St Helens in the difficult post-war years, so I grew up with shoes, the heady smell of leather, and the trips to the Manchester warehouses with my mother during the school holidays to look for special orders.
I’m writing from genuine experience and all those details in the novel are based on reality. My mother built the business up from nothing with sheer hard work, determination and good humour, so you can see where some of the inspiration for Aunt Nan, another strong, stoical and inspirational woman, came from.
My recent books have been set in rural West Lancashire and, though I didn’t set out to write a series, there are some links between the novels – recurring characters and villages. Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues is the third set in the village of Sticklepond (the other two being A Winter’s Tale and Chocolate Wishes), so we get to see what some of the characters in the previous novels are doing now, as well as one or two characters from nearby villages.
My next novel, out later next year, will also be set there, and then I will go and see what my characters have been up to in Little Mumming or Middlemoss – I haven’t yet decided which.
If you visit my website at www.trishaashley.com you can read a free Jubilee story, sign my guestbook, email me, see a complete list of my books, or join my Skint Old Northern Woman quarterly newsletter group.
I also have a Facebook fan page and you can find me on twitter at @trishaashley - do come and talk to me!
I wish you all a summer of happy reading,
Trisha is kindly offering three copies of Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues – to be in the draw, leave a comment below. Follow Trisha on Twitter @trishaashley or her Facebook Page www.facebook.com/trishaashleybooks