Thursday, July 26, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 46 - Phillipa Ashley

Today's Guest Blogger is Phillipa Ashley - and she's a new writer to me in all sorts of ways. Although I'd 'met' Phillipa on the eHarlequin boards I'd never met her in person until the RNA Conference at the beginning of this month. But I knew all about her as the winner of the RNA's Joan Hessayon trophy for the New Writers' Scheme this year. That was for her first book for Little Black Dress - Decent Exposure. At the Conference, Phillipa kindly gave a copy of the book - which - you guessed it - is on my TBR mountain. So many books so little time!

Many of you will also have 'met' Phillipa in her other personna as 'Lord Alfred' in June when she won another Guest Blogger's Julie Cohen's challenge to celebrate one of my heroes in rhyme with her ode to Jake and Mercedes - which I think I'll repeat here for anyone who missed it.

Take a smouldering hero called Jake
And Mercedes who made his heart ache.
He nicked her silk thong,
Which was seriously wrong.
But his harshness was all for her sake.

They finally fell into his bed
When her mother’s voice rang in her head.
“I’m a virgin,” thought she,
And Jake doesn’t love me!
So I’ll wait until after I’m wed.

Being Alpha, Jake got his own way,
He blackmailed her into a stay,
In his flat – they both fell
In love. (Just as well
She was having his baby.) Hooray!

Welcome Phillipa - and I'm delighted to have you here on the blog.

Phillipa Ashley writes romantic comedy for Headline Little Black Dress. Her first novel, Decent Exposure, won the 2007 Romantic Novelists Association Joan Hessayon award. Her second book, Wish You Were Here is out in paperback in September 2007.

I asked Phillipa for a photo of herself - instead she sent this for your delight -
"Richard Armitage: my inspiration for starting to write romance and much prettier than me!"

Phillipa's Post:

I’ve probably ‘known’ Kate for the shortest length of time of anyone on her blog party so I was thrilled when she asked me to join in. Although I’ve followed her advice and career via cyber space since I started writing in 2005, I actually hadn’t met her in person until the RNA Conference a few weeks ago.

Recently, I posted a poem on Kate’s blog, in tribute to my all-time favourite Presents novel: Bound by Blackmail aka Jake, Mercedes and The Thong. I called myself ‘Lord Alf’ as I was too embarrassed to admit the poet was me…Fortunately, Kate has a sense of humour. Not only was she friendly and welcoming to ‘Lord Alf’, but the BM insisted on carrying my stuff to the car after the conference. (My books were also laid out on the same sale table as hers which must be a good omen.)

Early on in my writing career, I bought Kate’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance. It was a revelation in its advice about character, plot, structure and most of all: about developing and loving your own writing voice. I thought: if Kate says it’s OK to ‘be yourself’ then it must be a very good thing.

In realizing this, I gave myself permission to write the books I needed to write. I learned that while I loved emotional intensity, sensuality and alpha heroes, my own books also need generous helpings of irony and humour. It must have worked because my first book sold to LBD.

I’m now writing my third novel: if I ever get the chance to write 50, I’d be about 95, so I know I’ll never match Kate.But who could

Phillipa's web site is at:


My new book, Wish You Were Here, is about a holiday romance so my question is: which hero would you choose to share a romantic meal overlooking the ocean?


A signed copy of either Decent Exposure or of the paperback of Wish You Were Here when it’s published in September.


Phillipa said...

I'm going to be totally uncool and say I can't believe I'm a guest blooger on Kate Walker's blog with all these mega romance authors.

Phillipa said...

Or even a blogger - you can see how much the copy editor loves me.

Kate Walker said...

Definitely a guest blooger Phillipa!


Ayla said...

=D i'm going to follow in your suit phillipa and be totally uncool.

My hero would be my fiance =D [we would be married but we're a bit young lol (we're 18)] It was our 18month anniversary on tuesday, and our one year of engagement too.

i would have loved to be on holiday having a meal by the ocean with him. Instead he cooked me a meal and we went to london to see a musical yesterday. But he's the only hero for me. (other than those i write about!)

Bernardine Kennedy said...

See you tomorrow Phillipa if you've got time to check in, it's my turn!

Phillipa said...

Ayla - Not uncool at all but a a lovely, romantic post. I started going out with my husband (who is known as Mr Bennet on my blog) when I was 18 and he was 19. We are still together 25 years later and still we love sharing meals overlooking the ocean. (Shame we live 120 miles from the coast!)

Bernardine - Hi there. I may need your help with a question so watch out for an email from me...

amanda said...

well even though Jack Thornfield sounds delish . . . I would have to choose my fiance instead. Because he is my very own hero, and love of my life. beside we haven't been on a vacation yet . . .

Your book sounds amazing phillipa.

sharon said...

My husband of 38 years would be my one and only choice. Since we do not spend enough time together, due to his lengthy working hours, it would be a pleasure to be able to relax in each other's company in that lovely setting.

diane said...

My hero is my fiance. We will be getting married end of next May. A romantic meal is always appealing and simply divine with the right ingredient. In other words, my fiance.

Phillipa said...

What a romantic lot you are!

It's true though, isn't it? We lead such busy lives these days that it's become a special occasion to share a meal with our partners.

Actually, I'm 44 tomorrow and Mr B (who is greatly impressed by the power of blogging) has just hinted that there may be more than a visit to the Fish & Chip shop for me tomorrow evening! Though I've had several romantic evenings involving fish & chips...

sabrina said...

Enjoy your dinner out Philippa and congrats. I would only want to have such a memorable dinner with someone who means the world to me. I am presently going out with this special young man who is smitten.

Cherie J said...

Definitely my hubby who is my hero and also a romantic man. We have two little ones, a 9 month old baby girl and a 4 year old boy and for us to have a romantic meal anywhere without the kids is truly paradise. :-)

Dena said...

Hi Phillipa, I would pick a literary hero,since I don't have a man in my life.One of my all time favorites is Drustan MaceKeltar from Karen Monings' book Kiss of the Highlander. He is so yummy.

KimW said...

I'd pick my husband. Life wouldn't be the same without him. He's really my hero. Fortunately, last month, we did have a romantic meal on a cruise boat overlooking the Pacific ocean. We had the best time and it's something I'll never forget.

Virginia said...

I guess my hero would have to be my hubby of 22 years. We don't get to have romantic dinners on the beach because we live to far from the beach, but we have a few times in the past. We do go out for a nice dinner sometimes on special hollidays and we really enjoy it.

bamabelle said...

Hi Phillipa,

In reality, of course it would be my husband whom I love dearly. But if we are talking fiction and fantasy here, I have one question first. Kate, can I have Theo Antonakos? Just for a bit lol? :)

juliemt said...

In reality, I'd have to say my beloved hubby of almost 30 years, but if I could share a meal with any fictional hero (on a strictly platonic basis, of course) I'd opt for Darcy. I know it's a very boring answer, but he does get to me every time.

Kate Walker said...

bamabelle . . . Hmmm, I don't know. I'm pretty fond of The myself.

But then I'm busy with another Greek hero right now so I'll be generous and let you borrow him!


Phillipa said...

Good morning - wow. Thanks for all your posts and keep them coming. Yes, you do have permission to pick a fictional hero.

I wouldn't mind a large table by the ocean, with John Thornton (from North & South), Jake Taverner, Mr Darcy and Gareth (from Jilly Cooper's 1970s romance, Octavia).

Can you imagine the Alpha-ness of that dinner?

ChristyJan said...

My husband is my real life hero. We celebrated our 29th anniversary last month and we've been best friends since we were 14 and 16.

As far as fictional hero's I would pick James Malory from Johanna Lindsey's novel GENTLE ROGUE.

Phillipa said...

Oh..thanks for all the answers. It's going to be really difficult to choose so I might get Mr B to help me.

We went out to dinner at an Indian fusion restaurant in last night. Mr B bought me a gorgeous overnight bag for all my trips to London.

ruth said...

It would have to be my loving and patient husband. As for a fictional character I would enjoy the company of Nicholas Nickleby.

Kate Hardy said...

As it's my 15th wedding anniversary shortly, my hero would have to be my DH. Who gave me my engagement ring after a posh meal overlooking the sea... (after the chocolate, of course - he has his priorities right *g*)

Kate Hardy said...

As it's my 15th wedding anniversary shortly, my hero would have to be my DH. Who gave me my engagement ring after a posh meal overlooking the sea... (after the chocolate, of course - he has his priorities right *g*)

Kate Hardy said...

whoops - sorry I posted twice. Blogger is having a hissy fit on me (aka just deserts for skiving off for a week's holiday and not finishing my book first)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate H!

Fancy actually being proposed to by the ocean.I was on Cannock Chase and he did get down on one knee, to which (shocked) I think I replied: "Oh please get up." (Blush)

I have terrible trouble with blogger too. I just can't stay logged in which is why I keep having to post as anonymous.

These replies are all so romantic that I can't choose one on merit and so they are going in a hat for fate to decide.

But not sure how to post the winner until Kate W gets back...



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