(28th July - 3rd August)
Pippa Croft is the pen name of an award-winning romantic novelist. After studying English at Oxford, she worked as a copywriter and journalist before writing her debut novel, which won the RNA’s New Writers’ award and was later made into a TV movie. She lives in a village in the heart of England with her husband and daughter.
Please would you tell me about the 'Oxford Blue' series
(I hope) it’s sexy, escapist, glamorous, funny, angsty, emotional, sophisticated read, but essentially the series is a love story between two young, ambitious people who can’t bear to be apart or together. It’s all set in the heady world of a fictional Oxford college and in various glamorous locations in the UK and abroad.
They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take; please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Looking back I realise I was very fortunate with my first book, Decent Exposure because I was lucky enough to get an agent and publisher (Little Black Dress) within a year. It went on to win the RNA’s New Writers Award and be made into a TV movie. Before anyone hates me, I’d like to add there’sbeen *many* ups and downs since, although being published by Penguin is a massive high point.
Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
Definitely! Whenever I finish a book, I can’t stop thinking about the characters and with the Oxford Blue series, that’s been tripled. I just handed in the final copy edits on the final book last week, and I’m definitely not ready to let Lauren and Alexander go yet.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
Probably be a toss-up between Will, the mountain rescue leader from my first novel and Alexander Hunt. I’d love to be flown off to Rome, or swept away to Falconbury for a weekend but to do that, I’d have to be young and gorgeous like Lauren - and my husband might have something to say about it!
If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I’d need infinite power too, of course, but somehow I’d try to stop the oppression and abuse of women that takes place in so many societies. On a trivial note, I’d like to be a fly on the wall in the England cricket team’s dressing room and be let loose in the fashion departments of Selfridges, House of Fraser and John Lewis with an unlimited budget.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d like to fly over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter and camp in the base under the stars.
If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
Pride & Prejudice: the archetype for so many love stories ever since.
If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
You’re never too old to be what you might have been
Please share with us, one random fact about yourself or your book?
I once interviewed the gorgeous Richard Armitage – only on the phone – one Monday afternoon and had to down a glass of rose wine beforehand to steady my nerves.
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
After three books in one year, I’m ‘resting’ for a couple of weeks i.e. trying to hack through the jungle that has taken over my house and garden. I’m also tinkering with ideas for a single title and another series.
What or who in life inspires you?
My daughter and my husband.
Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Jane Austen, Jessica Ennis, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, Michael Fassbender and Phil Tuffnell.
At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of 'OxfordBlue' what would the ingredients be?
It would have to include blue curacao, of course and some fizz, so if anyone has any recipes, I’d love to hear them!
A big thank you to Pippa for stopping by and chatting to The Love of a Good Book!