Interview with Anna James- Author of Pages & Co!
Anna James- the lovely creator of the bestselling, incredible, enchanting magical world that is Pages & Co, has answered some of our questions..!
1. What was your favourite book when you were 11?
I had so many favourites! But at the top of the list were Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery, Momo by Michael Ende and Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones.
2. Who inspired the characters of Tilly and Oscar?
These two aren't inspired by any real life people, unlike some of the characters who are a bit more inspired by real people. In particular Tilly's Grandad is really inspired by my Grandad who I was very close to and who introduced me to some of my favourite books. Tilly and Oskar are pulled almost entirely from my imagination, although I definitely have some things in common with Tilly!
3. What bookshop ( or place) inspired Pages & Co?
Pages & Co is a mix of lots of real life bookshops that I love, as well as a generous dollop of imagination. Some of the shops that inspired me are Waterstones Newcastle, my local bookshop growing up, Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Daunts in London and Barter Books in Alnwick. It wasn't open when I made up Pages & Co, so it didn't officially inspire it, but the real life bookshop that is most like how I imagine Pages & Co to be is Toppings & Co in Edinburgh! 4. Who, what or where sparked the thought process of the books?
All sort of places! I pull together ideas from people, places and books I read all the time and then try and shape them into a story. I'm very inspired by place in particular, and often the books are sparked by a place I've visited. I use Pinterest a lot to collate images and photos that are inspiring and often it's the settings that come first. Pages & Co was the first bit of the series, and the British Underlibrary too!
5. Where there times when you wanted to stop writing?
I'm not sure I've ever had times when I completely wanted to stop writing but there's absolutely been some points where it's felt difficult! Sometimes when I'm on deadline I get a little overwhelmed and feel under a lot of pressure, and sometimes the ideas just aren't flowing, but on the whole I love my job and feel very lucky to get to do it!
6. What do you do when you get writers block?
I try to just keep going but I'll set myself a smaller or more achievable task, something I know what I'm doing with already. Or if I'm really struggling, I use Pinterest and music a lot, so I'll find an inspiring image, put some music on (I write to film scores a lot) and then I just describe the image. I don't worry about adding story, I just describe what I can see and often that works as a way to open up my brain for ideas and get back into a creative mindset!
7. Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?
I don't want to give too many spoilers but I think it would have to be a familiar face that pops up in book three..! I really enjoy trying to get the voices right for the fictional characters I've borrowed, I think Anne is probably one of my favourites too.
8. Do you think that Pages & Co will appear on screen at some point?
I hope so but it's out of my control! There is a company which own the rights to develop it for a TV series but there are a lot of books that people in film and TV look at making, and not very many that end up being made. So maybe! But it's a very long process even if it does happen! 9. And finally, If you could spend a day with any of the characters from your books, who would you choose?
It would have to be Anne Shirley, like Tilly would choose. She's one of my all time favourite characters and I would love to spend the day wandering around Avonlea with her, getting her thoughts on life, and meeting Gilbert Blythe!
Thank you so much Anna! It has been so nice to interview you and get the inside scoop on Pages & Co!
Please check out Anna's website:
You can buy her books here:
Also- Take a look at our reviews for her books:
Tilly and The Bookwanderers: https://www.thebookreviewsociety.com/post/pages-co-tilly-and-the-bookwanderers
Tilly and The Lost Fairy Tales: https://www.thebookreviewsociety.com/post/pages-and-co-tilly-and-the-lost-fairy-tales-by-anna-james
Tilly and The Map of Stories:
Review coming soon!