Friday, September 28, 2012

50th party blog guest - Phillipa Ashley

Philippa Ashley is another of my RNA friends, and – unlike some of my lovely Aussie friends – we have actually met at RNA dos. We share an admiration for Richard Armitage – enough said! :o) I was thrilled when her first book came out AND was made into a film - she's only the second author I've ever met whose book has been made into a film!

Over to Philippa:

Howzat Kate - 50 not out!

I am in awe of Kate Hardy. I can’t imagine ever having 50 books published. My number six is out next week and number seven is in progress, so I have a quite a way to go.

I’ve known Kate online since I first started writing romance back in 2005. In fact, she won’t know this but when I submitted the ms of my very first attempt at a novel, Decent Exposure, to the RNA’s New Writers Scheme, I was convinced that Kate was my reader.

I was in that state of paranoid excitement/terror (mostly terror) that many new writers go through when their scripts are being assessed by the NWS. I’d heard on the grapevine that Kate was a reader for the scheme and that she was strict but brilliant, and how sought after her critiques were.

I happened to visit Kate’s blog one day to find that she was about to read a new script and I put two and two together – and made 92!

It sounds crazy now, to have made such a leap but that’s the way my mind worked back then and I’m probably only slightly less paranoid now.

I’d love to have rounded this story off by saying, yes, Kate was the reader for Decent Exposure but actually, it was another Mills & Boon author. Her critique led to me rewriting the book and it went on to win the 2007 Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.

But the point is that it is the generosity and experience of authors such as Kate, that have helped so many aspiring writers achieve their dreams. Their advice and insight is more precious than gold dust at a time when you are new to the world of professional writing and in desperate need of reassurance and direction.

Since then I’ve followed Kate’s blog and heartfelt posts on a regular basis. I wept for her when she lost her beloved dad and I cheered when she won the Romance Prize.

I finally had the privilege of meeting her at the RNA’s 50th anniversary lunch which was a fabulous occasion.
So congratulations, Kate, on a wonderful milestone from someone who is still, very much, a newbie.

Phillipa’s sixth novel is Miranda’s Mount, published as an E-book on October 4th by Piatkus Entice and is a sexy, funny contemporary romance set in Cornwall.

When Miranda finds herself fighting for her home, her job and her heart, sleeping with the enemy may not be the best tactic…

With no family of her own, Miranda Marshall has developed a healthy respect – some would say obsession – with other people’s histories. As property manager of a spectacular island castle in Cornwall, she’s made St Merryn’s Mount one of the UK’s most popular heritage attractions. While she may have the castle running like clockwork, Miranda hasn’t bargained on its sexy owner returning to claim his birthright. Dark, handsome and with a rakish reputation, Jago St Merryn not only looks like a pirate but is intent on flogging the Mount to a soulless leisure corporation. Miranda faces the battle of her life as she tries to persuade him to face up to his past and continue the St Merryn dynasty. But Jago has his own reasons for jumping ship and when he throws down the gauntlet to Miranda, she’s forced to delve into painful memories she’d much rather keep hidden…
Twitter @phillipaashley

You can find Miranda’s Mount online at and Amazon USA.


Phillipa said...

Hi Kate, thanks so much for inviting me to help you celebrate - hope we meet again very soon.

marybelle said...

Along the way I can see how so many writers and readers have been touched by Kate. It's heartening.

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Such a lovely story, Phillipa, and I'm very excited about getting my paws on your Miranda.

I'm also in awe of Kate's 50 books - not sure i'm ever going to match that!

Caroline said...

Ohhh I do love a fab call / road to publication journey. Best of luck Philipa with your latest release. Caroline x

Eli Yanti said...

sounds that "book" made a wide and great friendship

love the cover book of Miranda's mount :)

Phillipa said...

Marybelle - It was such a privilege to meet her finally.:)

Rachel - your cheque is in the post, darling. :)

Caroline - yes, I was *very* lucky! I actually got called by the RNA reader as they'd heard I was getting so twicthy about my script. I genuinely did think Kate was about to read it.

Eli - thanks, glad you like it. It's about a woman who runs a castle, if you hadn't guessed!

bn100 said...

Congrats on the book! It sounds good.