Phillipa Ashley writes warm, funny romantic fiction for a variety of international publishers. The first two books in her best-selling Cornish Café series made the Amazon Top 20 and Top 10 chart in 2016. The final novel, Confetti at the Cornish Café, is published on May 29th 2017.
Phillipa lives in a Staffordshire village with her husband and has a grown-up daughter. When she’s not writing, she loves walking, cycling and swimming in wild places like the Lake District and of course, Cornwall.
To say that Cornwall has been an inspiration for my work over the past 11 years is a bit of an understatement. I’ve now set seven novels either wholly or partly in this magical county, and I’m currently writing three more.
My latest series is a contemporary romantic saga about a group of quirky characters who run a cafe in Cornwall – they all have secrets to hide, pasts to escape, and big challenges to face. Funnily enough, the trilogy is called the Cornish Cafe series! On May 29th, the final book – Confetti at the Cornish Cafe – will be published by Avon.
It would take years for me to tell you what inspires me about this rugged, beautiful part of the world, but it’s probably the landscapes and seascapes – dramatic, wild, charming, and utterly captivating.
Here are a few of the places that have inspired me, and that feature in my books.
The Minack Theatre
Voted one of the world’s top outdoor performance venues by Lonely Planet, the Minack features in several scenes in past Cornish novels.
This bustling fishing village with its buttery beaches and vibrant arts scene appears in a several and in the guise of St Trenyan in the Cornish Cafe series (crossed with Mousehole and Padstow!)
Miles of beach and sandy towns behind them, with a lighthouse at the headland. This is my favourite place to surf and bodyboard, and my characters love it too.
St Michael’s Mount
I love this medieval island castle so much that I wrote a whole book about a similar castle – Return to Castle Bay.
Botallack Mining Region
The craggy ruins of abandoned engine houses, clinging onto the cliffs above the Atlantic are a World Heritage site. They feature strongly in some dramatic scenes in the Cornish Cafe series.
I hope you find time to visit some of these wonderful places, and if you find your way to the Cornish Cafe series, I hope you enjoy spotting them.
Win a copy of Summer at the Cornish Cafe!
I’m offering a signed copy of Summer at the Cornish Cafe to one person. All you have to do is email your name and address, and the answer to the following question, to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Which Irish actor plays Ross Poldark in the current BBC series of Poldark?