Best selling author Trisha Ashley talks about her writing process and answers your questions.

To celebrate the launch of Trisha Ashley’s latest novel ‘One More Christmas at the Castle’, in association with Penguin Random House, we are giving you the chance to win a stay at one of our luxury castles, a signed collection of best-selling books by Trisha Ashley, and a festive light bundle courtesy of our friends at Lights4fun.

Earlier this month we caught up with Trisha and put some of your questions to her, which she was more than happy to answer.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration for your storylines?

A: To a writer, no experiences in life, good or bad, are ever wasted – all can be composted down and used to grow something new.

Q: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

A: My son researches a lot of the more obscure threads in my novels for me now, but it is very easy for an author to get so involved in fascinating research that they put whole chunks of information into their books. The trick is, to temporarily become an expert on some topic and then just infuse a flavour of that into the novel.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?

A: I usually have interesting names jotted down in a book and flick through that.

Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

A: Sometimes. In A Good Heart is Hard to Find, for example, I have a bit of fun with Jane Austen’s family relationships – the heroine is called Cassandra, which is also the name of Jane’s sister – but it doesn’t matter if no one picks these things up.

Q: What do you like most about the publishing process and what tips would you give to any aspiring writers?   

A: I like seeing the early designs for the jacket covers. No writer ever likes getting edits, but you have to remember that these are constructive suggestions intended to make the book tighter and better.

Q: What is something you’re currently working on?

A: My next novel – but I never discuss them until I’ve written them.


Where is your favourite place to write? 

I used to be able to write anywhere, but now that I have lost so much vision, it has to be in my office, with the huge monitors and flip charts for notes…and the coffee machine handy.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Well, there is an adrenalin rush when you are just running with the plot and seeing where it takes you…and then later, you come down with a thump and are exhausted.

What motivates you? 

I’ve been writing since I was a little girl – I’m a writer, so I write. Suddenly finding yourself a single mother with a mortgage and an uncertain income is very motivating too, though.

Favourite childhood book?

As a small child, I cried buckets over a Victorian novel called Her Benny…until my mother hid it.

Favourite thing about Christmas?

I love it all, but especially that wonderful feeling on Christmas Eve, when the house is decorated, the kitchen is full of food and drink and you can relax and savour the moment of anticipation.

What are 3 words to describe yourself?

I hope they would be: a good friend.

What are you grateful for?

That I can still see the sky every morning, and the brightest stars on a clear night.

What is one thing everyone should do?

Not tell anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do…

What are you reading right now?

I am just about to listen to the audiobook of Neil Oliver reading his The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places. He is reading it himself and I love his voice.

Trisha’s latest novel ‘One More Christmas at the Castle‘ is an absolute treat of cosy escapist fiction, whisking you away to an English castle in Northumberland, where readers will find welcoming crackling fires, a few family mysteries to be uncovered, and a touch of romance.

The perfect read for the festive season.

Trisha lives in North Wales. For more information about her please visit, follow her on Twitter @trishaashley, or sign up to her newsletter at

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