Phillipa Ashley read English at Oxford University before working as a freelance copywriter and journalist. 'Dating Mr December' is her first novel and won the UK Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award 2007. It has now been adapted into a Lifetime movie called Twelve Men of Christmas, starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins. Phillipa lives in a Staffordshire village with her husband and daughter but also spends part of the year in the English Lake District.
Love Potions by Christina Jones Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson (again...)
What are your favorite books?
Notes from a Small Country - Bill Bryson Gaudy Night - Dorothy L Sayers Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen Persuasion - Jane Austen Heaven Sent - Christina Jones Romances by Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell and Rachel Gibson Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
What books would you recommend to your readers?
Love Potions by Christina Jones Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson Mixed Doubles by Jill Mansell Restoring Grace by Katie Fforde Crystal Clear by Nell Dixon Ice Angel by Elizabeth Hanbury
Any message to your readers?
I just can't wait to see DATING MR DECEMBER published by Sourcebooks. I hope US readers will laugh (and cry a little) and thoroughly enjoy reading Will and Emma's story. If you enjoyed the Lifetime movie - 12 Men of Christmas, I'd love to know what you think about the book it's based on. Please do visit my website, email me or post a comment and let me know.
What is your book about? Please provide a description.
When a nice girl asks twelve men to get naked, it's sure to cause a scandal... Emma Tremayne leaves her high-powered PR job and moves to the Lake District looking for peace, quiet-and celibacy. So perhaps it's not the best idea when, in the spirit of "community-mindedness," she agrees to help the local mountain rescue team fund raise by putting together a "tasteful" nude calendar. Especially since quite a lot of the community seems to mind what she's up to-including the tall, dark and handsome Mr. December, Will Tennant, who appears to have gotten the wrong impression about Emma's intentions. So how does she convince him that he's more than just the flavor of the month?
How long have you been at work on this book?
This was my first novel and it took around nine months in total.
How did the idea originate?
We have a holiday apartment in the Lake District which is very close to a Mountain Rescue base. Mountain Rescue Teams in the UK are all volunteers and very dedicated, community minded, modest people. I loved the idea of a fish-out-of-water feisty PR girl from London persuading these men to take their clothes off... I liked the idea of a clash between the hero and the heroine, who are totally hot for each other but are at odds, culturally and emotionally. And I love the Lake District's stunning scenery so much, I just had to set my first book there.
Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?
I wrote some of Dating Mr December at our holiday home in the beautiful English Lake District which is near Beatrix Potter's home and Wordsworth's cottage. I wrote one whole chapter sitting in bed one morning.The local MRT helped me with my research and I went abseiling to research one scene. I have a terrible fear of heights ..and I still do!