P lease start by telling us a little about yourself (education, jobs, significant other, children, pets, etc.)
Hi, I’m Pippa Croft and I live in a small village in the heart of England with my husband, who I refer to as Mr Bennet. My daughter has flown the nest now and is a scientist. I miss her a lot but I see her every couple of weeks and on social media every day.
I studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University – which is where the Oxford Blue series is set.
I also write as Phillipa Ashley and one of my novels was made into a Lifetime Christmas movie a few years ago.
Tell us about your latest New Adult book and what inspired you to write it.
I’d been dying to set a book at Oxford for a while so finally, I sat down and wrote three!
The series follows the stormy relationship of US senator’s daughter, Lauren Cusack and British aristocrat, Alexander Hunt. They meet at Wyckham College, Oxford where they’re both studying Masters degrees. There’s an instant, powerful and fiery sexual attraction between them but Alexander has a reputation as an emotionally distant, arrogant bad boy. Lauren is fresh out of a break up with her American boyfriend so she’s keen to keep away from Alexander, but he has other ideas and what Alexander wants, Alexander always gets!
The New Adult genre is fairly new. What's your definition of it? How does it differ from Young Adult or just regular Adult books?
I think the issues the characters face in an NA novel tend to be ‘grittier’ and more emotionally intense than in ‘chick lit’. Many readers consider the Oxford Blue series to be New Adult because it focuses on the lives of Lauren who is taking full responsibility for her life for the first time and going against her parents’ wishes by studying in the UK. For Alexander, it’s different, he is a serving officer in the British army so has already had a lot of independence and responsibility. So far the series has appealed to all kinds of readers from die hard NA fans to chick lit and contemporary romance readers.
Do you belong to any critique groups and/or do you have other people read your work as you're writing it? Who's brutally honest and who's a cheerleader? Which do you prefer?
I tend not to have people read my work while I’m writing it, but I do run ideas by my agent and my two closest author buddies. Together, they are a massive source of inspiration and honest, constructive advice.
Do you outline before you write or just dive head-first into a manuscript? Do you maintain a schedule for writing, or is it more haphazard?
It completely depends on the novel: they’re all different. When I was writing the Oxford Blue series, I had a strict schedule because of the writing/editing deadlines but I’m usually more relaxed about the word count.
Where do you do your best writing? (Ex: desk in your office, public library, under a tree in the park, in front of a Real Housewives TV marathon, etc.) Do you like music or some other background noise, or do you need quiet?
I normally have the radio or TV on in the background. I have an office but I tend to write in the dining or sitting room as it feels less isolated.
When you're driving and you have a sudden, brilliant idea for the new manuscript you're working on, what do you do?
I’d wait until I got home and write it in a notebook: I keep small, pretty hardback notebooks for brainstorming each novel.
Imagine you have a whole day free for shopping. Where do you go?
To Oxford, where the novel is set. I’d visit my old college, eat out in the gorgeous old cafes and pubs and wander around the Victorian Covered Market and bookshops.
Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
Where is your favorite place in the world?
So so difficult but probably the English Lake District where we have a holiday apartment overlooking Lake Windermere.
Do you have any advice for people who want to write a book?
Don’t do it. Or if you do, be warned that it will take over your life forever…
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