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Muddy Meets: Phillipa Ashley

Phillipa Ashley is a a Sunday Times Top Ten best selling author and her book A Perfect Cornish Escape has been shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year. We caught up with her to find out what Cornwall means to her.

A Perfect Cornish Escape tells the story of Marina, whose husband was lost at sea seven years ago. She vowed to love him forever – but should she deny herself another chance at happiness? Tiff was living life to the full in London – until her boyfriend’s betrayal brought it crashing down. Can new beginnings be too good to be true?

 Why did you choose to set the book in Cornwall?

I live in a picturesque village but it’s officially listed on Wiki as one of the furthest from the sea in Britain! I’m drawn to the coast, especially somewhere so different and remote from my own home.

What does Cornwall mean to you – do you think Cornwall becomes almost an additional character in the book? 

My editor keeps telling me ‘you can’t have too much Cornwall in your books!’ Readers seem to love immersing themselves in the stunning landscapes. The dramatic scenery and tight-knit communities are great for creating characters and drama. 

You’ve got 48 hours to spend anywhere in Cornwall – where do you head first?

Godrevy to do some bodyboarding and say hello to the seals. Then a walk from Porthcurno, over wild Gwennap Head to bathe in the Song of the Sea pool at Nanjizal. I’d have a cream tea at Porthgwarra café on the way home then catch a performance under the stars at the Minack Theatre.

Minack-Theatre-Cornwall-Plays-Porthcurno

What’s your writing set up like & where do you do your work (and has this changed with lockdown)?

I write in the lounge, sitting on the sofa – and nothing has changed there. I’m lucky to live in a village with lots of walks with a short distance but I’ve found the restrictions and anxiety hard to deal with. They have definitely made it tougher to write. 

How do you get into the Cornish mindset?

Normally by visiting Cornwall! I listen to Cornish radio stations, read lots of guidebooks and magazines and watch any programme featuring Cornwall. I find old episodes of Wycliffe are brilliant for showing authentic Cornish weather and places that don’t always make it to glossy TV shows. 

We’ve a copy of Philippa’s book to give away as one of a set of six romantic novels set in or written in Cornwall – enter here to win the lot!

Find more ideas here

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