Once again, I have had the pleasure of interviewing a fantastic author. Trisha Ashley has had many of her books published and I have recently read her latest novel, Twelve Days of Christmas. Here she is, talking to me about the book.
Hello Trisha, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for me and congratulations on the new book, Twelve Days of Christmas. Where did the ideas for this book come from?
I’m never too sure where the ideas come from: a bit of this, a bit of that…I did start off by wondering how it would feel to lose your husband at an early age in an accident. My heroine feels angry with her husband for leaving her, however illogical she knows that emotion to be. And of course, since they were only married for a few brief years and their dreams of a family were unfulfilled, he is forever fixed in her mind as her perfect man and the irreplaceable love of her life. It’s going to take something fairly cataclysmic to change that!
For those out there who are yet to read anything by you, can you tell us how you would describe your writing style?
I’d describe my books as edgy romantic comedy. Any humour arises from the characters themselves, because I don’t try and write in a funny way: I just write.
How long does it take you, roughly, to write a complete novel, from idea to final draft?
About six months, though the ideas for the next book have been fermenting gently on the backburner while I’ve been finishing off the last novel!
When you write, do you think you put a little of yourself into some characters or are they all completely fictional?
My characters are all completely fictional, but I will often use something that has happened to me as a jumping-off point, by playing the ‘what if?’ game. If you’d turned left instead of right at the crossroads, your life would have taken a totally different turn.
What is it you enjoy most about being a writer? And the least?
I love becoming someone else and slipping off into a different world, but when all the characters have taken on a life of their own and start having conversations in your head when you are trying to go to sleep at night, that can be annoying. I know if I don’t put the light on and write it all down, I’ll have forgotten it by morning.
Do you plan your work or just go with the flow and see where it takes you?
There are always new ideas and situations I want to explore in each book, but my novels are very much character-driven and written in first person viewpoint, so my main character tends to move off in unexpected directions. But I do carefully work out timelines and, where there is a story within the story (like Alys’s journal in A Winter’s Tale, or Holly’s grandmother’s diary in Twelve Days of Christmas), I have to dovetail the past into the present.
Do you have a favourite, out of all the books you have written? Which did you enjoy writing the most?
I’m not sure you should have a favourite book, any more than you should have favourite children – and each book is my favourite while I am going through the gestational process of writing it! But I think I would have to say Every Woman for Herself: It is a contemporary twist on the Bronte family situation and I had so much fun exploring the ideas in that one!
Good luck with Twelve Days of Christmas – although I don’t think you need it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will most definitely be recommending it to everyone.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my books and if anyone would like to email me, leave a message on my guestbook page, or join my newsletter group, you can find me at www.trishaashley.com.