20 questions with founder of The People’s Book Prize Tatiana von Saxe Wilson
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Pursuit and success.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“Make the best better”.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
People without principles.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Who misses Tony Blair? Shouldn’t he be sharing the immense wealth he acquired thanks to his tenure in public office to accomplish some of the tasks that he is fronting at the taxpayers’ expense? … What do I miss most? … The wonderful relationships that I had during my two successful marriages.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Health, a better and more balanced playing field for humanity and above all respect. I wish to eradicate what I call “the intellectual cancer”: illiteracy and see everybody worldwide achieve equal minimum living standards with food, water, education and working opportunities.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
It is all about greed. The modus operandi should be changed and compensation given to those the banks destroyed.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“Will not work out”.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Whilst family should come first, sharing brings more. I support the eradication of illiteracy and new and undiscovered works.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
Inspire the public: It is not the fault of the plastic bag or the mobile phone. Misuse is abuse.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
It would have to be the dining car and I’d include Matthew Steeples naturally. I’d also take my sister – the author Jane Huxley – and an assortment of good business and personal friends from the UK and around the world.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Peruvian food: cebiche, causa, seco, lomo saltado. For dessert: illes flotant. Given I’ll be on death row, I would have to eat it in jail.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
For me: At lunch, if I am having a proper lunch (then I skip dinner). Otherwise, 6pm.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Restaurant openings as I am a restaurant critic and book launches as I am the founder of The People’s Book Prize.
Who is the most positive person you know?
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Eating a croissant or other wheat or dairy products. I follow the ancestral diet of fresh fish, meat, green vegetables and zero gluten. However, times have changed and one can get non-gluten substitutes (though they are ridiculously expensive, still full of sugar and not super healthy at all).
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I successfully organised a product launch for a client when I was just 17.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I have pictures of my grandparents, parents and sister as well as Baccarat butterflies and a Jaeger-LeCoultre atmospheric clock.
Tatiana von Saxe Wilson is the founder of The People’s Book Prize and the senior partner of Von Saxe Associates. She is also a restaurant critic and involved in marketing, finance and publishing.
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I so enjoyed the interview – a broad smile across my face.
I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Entertaining and revealing. I don’t get to see your restaurant critiques, being this side of the pond, but I’m sure they’re fun. But please don’t try to take over Winner’s mantle!! Incidentally I ‘bonded’ with Bill Nighy during my time as
a movie extra when I recognized your restaurant side alley at his photo shoot! And he commented how it was the only place to be when interviewed. Which brings us very nicely back to the subject. Very best, Peter.
Fab! Your answers didn’t surprise me a bit … I should nominate you to become our next MP! We don’t miss Tony Blair either, we miss you! And … I promise to make Illes Flotant for you before you get into any trouble! 🙂
very honest and inspirational interview. Thank you.
Where do people get these strange surnames and what on earth is a ‘personal friend’?
A “personal friend” is someone who knows you from childhood, loves you, respects you, admires you and is honest with you in every way. I consider myself a ‘personal friend’ of Ms. Von Saxe Wilson.
….as opposed to a .friend who does not know you from childhood?…..I assume you are not as cognisant with the English language as I am….to judge from your far from lucid explanation. You name implies a certain unpleasant foot condition!
And you imply bitterness!!
A delightful interview full of Tatiana’s perceptive comments as one would expect. Rupert
I still want to know why she has ‘personal friends’ as opposed to ‘friends’….’personal friends’ is a contradiction in terms. But, more to the point why exactly is this lady sitting in the same posture as the celebrated one of Christine Keeler: I am sure Chaim recalls it….
I have to say I have never heard of Mrs von Saxe-Wilson: is she a celebrity?
Nothing like Christine Keeler- see :
Pete has a good memory, I must admit that I have forgotten all about Christine Keeler. Christine would have been on every celebrity reality television show, had this event happened today. She would have had book deals and all. Debauchery is celebrated by most British television networks. Standards and good taste is at an all time low. Christine Keeler is a satisfied customer of Morrisons supermarket stores instead.
In (relatively) modern vernacular, cool! I enjoyed your observations and insights into interacting with this world around us — dealing in a positive way with a world that many can’t fathom. Tain’t easy to do, but much of your twenty-questions response demonstrates an approach to life that I, too, can live by.
Anthony Westnedge says:
Tatiana at her best and most invincible!
Wise witty and clever!
But do you like your Martini shaken or stirred? Don’t’ answer that or we’ll be here till dawn!
I wonder if Mrs Wilson dragoons all her friends to make these adulatory comments: I am not being unkind, but I have never heard of the lady until now and am still trying to fathom out her claim to fame….
Pete: Tatiana is a delightful lady who came up with The People’s Book Awards. She works towards eradicating illiteracy and I think what she is doing is fantastic. Take a look at her website and make some nominations.
If you say so Matthew…just never heard of her. Frankly, if she wants to eradicate illiteracy she should stop using the meaningless term ‘personal friend’: it means bugger all in the English language. But I like your take on Met Communications-or lack of…
Pete: The ‘origin’ of the friendship determines for me whether they are personal or business. I was not conversant with the Christine Keeler pose until now thanks to Fred. And to think I could have done it without the T Shirt! I have not heard of you either and so I thank you for your interest. The word celebrity has lost its meaning. The People’s Book Prize http://www.peoplesbookprize.com is something to celebrate! It is the comments that should generate thought interaction – not the person. Best. Tatiana
How complicated to have to divisionalise or compartmentalise your life according to whether one accrues friendship through work or non work life.
You may not have heard of me:but then why would you? I have never had 9 dissolved companies to my name!
And please….another pet aversion of mine is the use of ‘celebrate’. We are told with dreary monotony that we have to ‘celebrate’ this or that….so annoying.
The very popular one is that we must ‘celebrate’ cultural diversity or the Olympics or this and that. Well, I don’t have to do any such thing…..
Pete: Given your persistent comments attacking others, can we please be told who “The real Pete Wayde” is please. Why don’t you ask to do the questions yourself instead of berating others?
The real Pete Wayde is the real Pete Wayde….and I don’t think certain ‘oh so pleased with themselves’ interviewees would like some of my mildly interrogatory questions….
Matthew does not need me to ask questions: he does a good job himself. I am just a loyal reader standing by to puncture pumped up egos
You seem to be living a miserable life
You need to get your veruca treated: they can be most painful!
Where does the Von Saxe come from?
I agreeTatiana, you are the most positive person I know too. All answers are very like you. ‘ The People’s Book Prize’ is a great achievement.
Great interview. Good luck with your projects and congratulations on The People’s Book Prize.
So much fun! Me reí mucho and I missed not to have you closer, “as in the good, old times”… are those ones coming next? Tatiana. I agree that “The best things are yet to come”. Love and keep smiling, Jorge
Such a good interview. Naturally YOU but entirely professional. You have worked tirelessly and with so much enthusiasm for your People’s Book Prize, and it deserves all the success it will surely find.
She was certainly enthusiastic about ghastly, money grubbing Max Clifford who she seems to admire.
Her comment that young girls dress to try to attract ‘celebrities’ was bizarre in the extreme. Frankly, these vulgar and common nonentities posing as celebrities leave sane people cold….even though they assumably appeal to ‘Baroness’ Von Saxe