Hello everybody, and welcome to the start of another week! Today, I’m so excited to be welcoming Andy Sagar for an interview as part of the blog tour for his debut Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup. Onto the post!
Hi Andy, thank you so much for being here today! First of all, can you please describe the book for us in 5 words? Witches, teashops, faeries, cake, chosen-family! (Is the last one cheating?)
2. This is your debut year, so first of all congratulations! Secondly, what is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve recieved from other authors so far? What are you most excited about this year?
Thank you so much! The best advice I’ve received is, amidst all the chaos, to always focus on the storytelling. With social media and so on, it is so easy to get caught up in a vortex of anxiety and self-doubt. But sitting with a cup of coffee as rain drums against the window, writing a story about witches and kindness, will always be a special, untouchable kind of magic for me.
3. The idea behind your world and magic system manages to feel like both very classic fantasy and totally original. Where did the idea come from? Do you have stories you’d like to tell in this world about different characters or was the idea very much connected to Yesterday?
Creating the world for me was a process of unearthing the magic in the everyday. I was sitting in a real teashop and realised how enchanting everything would be if it were just mixed with a few drops of classic fantasy elements. Blends of tea could be like a witch’s potions! The customers could all be different kinds of faeries! The teapots could levitate and pour themselves!
On your second question, there are little hints of parallel stories running throughout the book, and sometimes I think I would like to find out what they are – like the tale of Maggie Hollybones, founder of the Museum of Entirely Unnatural History, which intrigues me greatly. Or perhaps it would be better for them to remain mysteries for the reader to wonder at. Who knows…?
4. One of my favourite things about the book is how comforting and cosy it felt to read, it honestly cheered me up so much when I read it. What are some of your favourite comfort books? Which genre would you say is the most comforting for you?
I’m so pleased the book cheered you up – cosiness was my number one aim when writing it! My favourite comfort books are ones that recognise the importance of ordinary things. I don’t know if that is considered a genre, but it should be! These are books like Becky Chambers’ A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and basically anything by Diana Wynne Jones – the queen of cosy fantasy.
5. I think a huge part of that lovely, warm feeling in this case was because of how delightful your characters and the relationships between them are. Which of them do you think you’re the most like? Which of them would you most want to be friends with?
I think I’m probably most like Yesterday. I’m not even remotely as feisty as she is. But she is quite an anxious person, and I’m often very anxious myself (which is probably why I love reading, and writing, cosy books so much!). In terms of friends, I’d love to be friends with Miss Dumpling. Who wouldn’t want a friend who always has cake and hot chocolate to hand! She’d always know what to say if you were worried about something, but also wouldn’t be afraid to whisk you off on an adventure to remember.
6. Now, I’ll have to be vague here cause I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I’m still not over the twist towards the end. What tips would you give other writers on having a killer twist? Do you think you’d ever like to write a mystery?
I’m extremely pleased the twist landed for you! I don’t think I would ever write a pure, real-world mystery, but maybe I’d write one on the assumption that witches and faeries were involved… My advice to anyone else writing a twist ending would be to add a twist because it suits the story – because it explains a character’s otherwise very strange motivations, for instance – rather than adding one for the sake of shock value. Not every story needs a twist, after all (even if they can be very fun!).
7. When I’m writing this, we’re hours away from the start of World Book Week. So… do you have any fun memories of this day from your childhood? Which book character would you most like to dress up? (From any book, not just yours!)
I remember an author coming to my school when I was about 7 or 8 on World Book Day and being totally in awe and disbelief. Back then, I thought authors were these reclusive creatures that conjured books out of the aether and somehow they ended up in shops. (Unfortunately, I have since learned, books are not made quite as easily as that). I think the character I’d most like to dress up as would be Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle (the film, specifically). The pink, blue, and yellow jacket! So ethereal! So chic! I want it.
8. Another question I really like to ask authors is: what’s your writing routine like if you have one? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks?
Left to my own devices, my writing routine is barely a routine, to be honest, consisting of irregular writing sprints held together by cake breaks and a prayer. Recently I’ve been forcing myself to do 25 minute pomodoro shifts – my attention span is so threadbare that a 25 minute sprint is just about all I can manage at a time!
9. Finally, can you give us any hints as to what Yesterday will be getting up to next? I’m dying for the second book already and the first isn’t even properly out!
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that Mr Weep is not the only bothersome monarch Yesterday and co will have to deal with, and that her lessons in tea witchery are only just getting started.
Favourite kind of tea? (This one seems obvious but I had to ask in the spirit of the book!!)
Brew or confectionery you’d invent if you were a tea/confectionary witch?
Hmmm… any tea that lets me fly, without a doubt! I’d love to see and move through the world in the same way that a bird does.
Disney character you think you’re most like?
I wish I could be Meg from Hercules, but I know I’m Piglet from Winnie the Pooh
Top 3 books of 2021?
Me, My Dad, and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean, Ghostcloud by Michael Mann, and The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy by Richard Pickard!
3 fellow debut authors whose book you’re really excited for this year?
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A F Steadman (who isn’t really excited for this one?); The Miraculous Sweetmakers and the Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings; and The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery!
Thank you so much for reading! Are you planning to pick up Andy’s book, or have you been lucky enough to read a proof already? Which debut books are you most excited for this year? I’d love to chat with you in the comments!
3 thoughts on “Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup Blog Tour: Author Interview with Andy Sagar”
Another fab interview! Please tell me I’ll like this, because I really want to?!
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I definitely think you’ll like this!! It’s very Nevermoor and Starfell and all the fantasies we love xx
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Oh that’s good. I was worried it might be either a bit young or a bit ‘pages & co’ vibes!!
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