Tilly and the Bookwanderers Blog Tour: Author Interview with Anna James

Hello everybody! Today, I’m really excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Tilly and the Bookwanderers, which I read last month and loved, by interviewing its author Anna James. Onto the post!

Hi Anna! Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you for having me!

1. Can you describe Tilly and the Bookwanderers in 5 words?

Book magic is real (yay!)

2. The book introduces the concept of bookwandering, which means some people have a gift that allows them to go inside books. If you could book wander, which characters would you most/least like to encounter?

Top of my list would be the character that Tilly, my heroine, meets – Anne of Green Gables who is one of my all time favourite characters. I’d also really love to sit down and have a philosophical chat with Lyra from Northern Lights. From adult books, I would love to meet Henry and Clare from The Time Traveler’s Wife. On the other hand, I think I would be actually terrified if I came across the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

3. Bookwanderers need to be very careful so they don`t alter the core events of a book, but if you were given the chance to change something in a book, what would it be and why?

My responsible answer is none, writers wrote their books the way they wanted to so even if I don’t like certain elements, then so be it! But honestly, I would probably go around wreaking havoc in books where amazing women choose to be with terrible weak men! I’d convince Daisy Buchanan not to stay with Tom OR to go with Gatsby but to take her daughter and be by herself!

4. The way the book celebrates reading in so many ways was an absolute joy to read. What are your favourite things about reading?

Thank you! I love almost everything about reading, but I think my favourite thing is just the way that it can utterly transport you, that you genuinely feel take to another place (if the book is good!). That feeling of being lost to a story is magical.

5. Another of my favourite elements of the book was how supportive and loving Tilly`s family was. Who are your favourite fictional families?

I loved writing Tilly’s grandparents, and they’re a mix of my four grandparents who were or are inspirations for me in different ways. In terms of fictional families, I love the way Hilary McKay writes families, and I’m also very fond of the Fossil sisters from Noel Streatfield books. And then I have to say Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, Anne Shirley’s sort of foster parents at Green Gables.

6. What is your writing process like? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks?

I’m not a very disciplined writer I’m afraid, I don’t have much of a routine, or daily word count targets, and I’m not a big planner or plotter in advance. I do always write from the start of the novel to the finish, I don’t let myself write ahead as knowing I have fun scenes to write ahead is good motivation to work through the tricky bits. This isn’t very unusual but I listen to a lot of film soundtracks when I write, I have lots of playlists for different moods and settings which help me get in the mood. I also like to read a short story by a writer I admire before I start writing – something that’s completely different to what I write so I’m not comparing, but it really helps me get into a creative headspace and reminds me of the power of good fiction!

7. Also on the theme of writing, I found your first chapter incredibly engaging, and it made me want to devour the rest of the book immediately. What tips would you give on writing the opening of a book or story?

I’m so glad as I worked on the first chapter a lot, it changed three or four times over edits, and even when we thought we were done I kept going back to it because I love a good first chapter in a book and it was really important to me to get it right. I’m not sure what tips I would give apart from follow your gut on it, be honest if you know it’s not quite right yet and don’t settle for something that’s just fine. Try to articulate why it’s not working for you, and just keep trying and you’ll know when you’ve worked it out!

8. Finally, before we move on to the quickfire questions, can you let anything slip about what might happen in the sequel?

I can’t say much, especially as I’m still writing it, but I will say that it involved a trip to Paris, and also some fairy tale characters…


Hogwarts house? Ravenclaw

Favourite chocolate bar/type? Topics

Favourite film? Moulin Rouge

Thing you`re most excited about for autumn/winter? Jumpers and cosy reading corners.

Top 3 books of 2018 so far? Sticking with children’s books, The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay, The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton and The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave. If I can have an extra vote for an adult book I’d go with Educated by Tara Westover.

Are you planning to read this book? Which characters would YOU most/least like to meet while bookwandering? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy x


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: goldenbooksgirl@gmail.com | she/her

13 thoughts on “Tilly and the Bookwanderers Blog Tour: Author Interview with Anna James”

      1. Given that you enjoy mysteries/thrillers in other age groups, you should totally read Robin Stevens especially, and also Katherine Woodfine/Janine Beacham/Imogen White and lots of others currently slipping my mind. Being Miss Nobody definitely springs to mind as another I think you’d really like, and I’d be shocked if you’re not a fan of those Michelle Harrison books I gave you. I have so many others I want to foist upon you but those are the ones that jumo out straight away…


      2. I had a vauge feeling you told me this! I must have supressed the memory 😂. I am sad I can’t convert someone else to Wells and Wong, but fear not. I shall adapt my badgering you to read things to your tastes 😘😘😘


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