I absolutely adored Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup, and I’ve said so many times that it is my favourite book of 2022. It has everything I need in a book, and I cannot wait to read the next books that are written by author Andy Sagar. I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing for this feature, and I am delighted to be sharing it today as it feels like the perfect way to celebrate and showcase this being officially published.
- Can you tell us a bit about Yesterday Crumb and the storm in the teacup.
Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup tells the story of a girl named Yesterday, who has spent her life as a circus attraction, her curious fox ears put on display for circus patrons to gawk at. But when a silver-feathered raven springs her free, she discovers a magical teashop run by a tea witch named Miss Dumpling, who takes her in as an apprentice. Though her new life is full of magic – from faerie customers to enchanted teapots to orchards where wishes grow – it is also full of danger, and when a mysterious figure places a shard of ice in her heart, she and her new friends must journey to find the main ingredient of a special tea with the power to break her curse before it’s too late.
- I loved Miss Dumpling, I’m just like her apart from the fact that I’m rubbish at baking, to me she is a character that makes you feel happy and makes you smile, who’s your favourite character and why?
I’m so glad that you like her! Miss Dumpling is probably my favourite character, too. She came into my head fully-formed one day, and writing her is like writing about an old friend – if a particularly magical one!
- Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?
I don’t have her fox ears, or magic, or feistiness, but I would say that I based much of Yesterday’s internal anxiousness on myself. As somebody who has always struggled with doubts and anxiety, drawing on my own history of over-worrying came quite naturally when I started writing her inner monologues and musings. Otherwise, every other character is completely made up!
- I loved the idea of a walking teashop, where did that idea come from?
The walking teashop was based on the classic Slavic fairy tale character of Baba Yaga. She is a witch known for living in a hut deep in the woods, which stands on a pair of chicken legs. When the idea of a magical teashop came into my mind, I knew it would need some way of travelling around, so it could bring tea and cake to anybody who needed it. But chicken legs felt wrong for Miss Dumpling’s particular teashop. Since she loves pink so much, I thought she would use flamingo legs instead.
- Can you give us an insight into your writing process?
My writing process is pretty sporadic! Since I’m doing a PhD, my daytime is taken up by doing research, and I tend to save writing for the evenings or early mornings. Often, I will draft a fairly detailed plan for what will happen in a chapter, what characters will say to each other, what secrets will be revealed, and so on. Then the characters will come along and do whatever they please! (And then I try to impose some order on the narrative chaos through endless, endless editing sessions…).
- I’m so looking forward to reading the next book. How many books are going to be in the series?
The Yesterday Crumb series will be a trilogy! I’m editing the sequel as we speak…
- I’m a primary school librarian and spend my entire day encouraging children to read, what piece of advice would you give to children?
We are so lucky to have libraries, and so we must make the most of them by reading as widely and wildly as we can! Reading gives us superpowers, after all. Books grant us abilities we never had before opening their pages. When we read, we can fly like Peter Pan; we can wield a witch’s magic; we can swim like mermaids and joust like knights and fight evil monsters without breaking a sweat. And when we finish reading, we bring some of those powers back into the real world, and can change it for the better.
- Baking plays a big part in the book, what is your favourite cake?
You can never go wrong with red velvet cake, in my experience.
A big thank you to Andy Sagar for taking part in this interview. You can check out my review of Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup here. The book is published by Hachette, and is available from today (17.03.22) to purchase from all good booksellers.