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.
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