Born in St. Helens, Lancashire, England; divorced. Education: Studied architectural glass at Swansea College of Art. Hobbies and other interests: Painting.
Home—North Wales. Agent—The Marsh Agency, 111 Dover St., London W1S 4LJ, England. E-mail—[email protected].
Novelist. Has worked for a stained-glass maker and a plumber.
Good Husband Material, Piatkus (London, England), 2000.
The Urge to Jump, Piatkus (London, England), 2001.
Every Woman for Herself, Piatkus (London, England), 2002, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Singled Out, Piatkus (London, England), 2003, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.
The Generous Gardener, Severn House (London, England), 2004, (Brooklyn, NY), 2005.
When British novelist Trisha Ashley had difficulty finding a publisher for her first book, her agent suggested that the problem was a lack of romance in the satirical comedy. After taking her agent's suggestion and revising the manuscript, Ashley sold the book—Good Husband Material—to Piatkus. The author has since published several other novels that feature decidedly unglamorous heroines who are in the midst of midlife crises but who maintain a humorous outlook on the difficulties of marriage, divorce, dating, and family ties.
Good Husband Material portrays Tish, a woman who is restless in her marriage to a seemingly perfect man and preoccupied with the rock musician who once treated her so badly. Her second book, The Urge to Jump, is the story of spinster novelist Sappho Jones, who is worried that the single life breeds eccentric behavior. A reviewer for the London Times called The Urge to Jump "enjoyable, if easily forgotten."
Every Woman for Herself is Ashley's first book to be published in the United States. In this story, protagonist Charlotte is deserted by her husband of more than twenty years, leaving her in need of a home and a job. When she returns to the Yorkshire village where her oddball father and siblings live, she finds romance with actor Mace North. Booklist's Carol Haggas recommended Every Woman for Herself as an "uproarious coming-of-middle-age novel," calling it "truly laugh-out-loud funny." Similarly, a Kirkus Reviews writer enjoyed it as "shrewd but gentle satire … that never misses a beat" and said that the book was "wonderfully funny to boot."
Ashley told CA: "My readers are a marvellous bunch, ranging in age from sixteen to eighty-six (the ones I know about anyway), and I'm always amazed and delighted that so many of them take the time out of their busy lives to write and tell me what they think of my books.
"What we all share is a sense of humor, and while mine may be darker than most, it has helped me negotiate the trickier parts of my life, just as it helps the heroines of my books to find a way through their own difficulties. Although my books are romantic comedy, they also deal with painful issues, too: divorce, desertion, miscarriage, breast cancer, and other issues that are familiar in our own lives or those of close friends.
"Friendship is very important to me: all of my friends are other novelists or keen readers, and I have found a great generosity, a sharing of information and encouragement, among them.
"I think if you read my novels, you will quickly discover that I love literary biography and also the works of Jane Austin, the Brontës, John Milton, and Shakespeare. But so many influences go into the melting pot of becoming a writer, and I've always been a bookaholic who will read anything and everything. And literary snobbism makes me angry: if a novelist has an original writing voice and creates a brilliant world in their book, then I want to go there, whatever the genre.
"I wrote my first novel at eighteen, and I've written at least one a year since then. (That's a lot of unpublished novels!) Of course, most of the early ones were rubbish, and I was trying to write satire and failing to find a market for it—but writing was—and still is—a compulsion. I don't set out to write funny books either, but I do come from Lancashire, where a lively sense of humour, especially in adversity, is the norm!
"Which of my books is my favourite? Well, which one of your children do you prefer?"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2003, Carol Haggas, review of Every Woman for Herself, p. 1642.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2003, review of Every Woman for Herself, p. 488.
Library Journal, July, 2003, Margaret Hanes, review of Every Woman for Herself, p. 119.
Times (London, England), October 20, 2001, review of The Urge to Jump, p. 19.
Trisha Ashley Web Site,http://www.geocities.com/trisha_ashley2002/ (June 21, 2004).