This week’s Inheritance Books comes from Tilly Tennant.
Hi Tilly, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, but have now settled in Staffordshire where my dad comes from (he met my mum, who hails from Bournemouth, boogieing in a nightclub whilst on shore leave in Portsmouth). I’m mother to two beautiful daughters. I am older than I would like to admit, even to myself. I’ve always read from an early age but, strangely, nobody else in my family as I grew up read all that much. I still say that it was a favourite English teacher who gave me the bug and I’ll forever remember her fondly for it. Nobody in my family had been to university, and as I wasn’t expected to either, I promptly got a job after school and gave it no more thought. After pinging around between different, very unsatisfactory jobs for around eighteen years, I decided I would quite like to give university a go after all and signed up for joint honours English and creative writing, graduating in 2009. My course gave me the writing bug to go with the reading one I already had and I haven’t stopped since. Last year I signed with LAW literary agency and my debut romantic comedy, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was released 31st January 2014.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
Because my family didn’t really read much, I don’t have a book handed down to me by anyone I’m related to. The only books I did have were a box of Famous Five adventures given to me by a teenage aunt, but sadly they’ve long gone. But one of my favourite places to visit as a teenager was a second hand bookshop in town (I knew how to party). It was run by a little old man – proper JR Hartley type – and aside from browsing the books he had, I loved to chat to him. He got to know me as a regular and would set aside things he thought I’d be interested in.
One day he showed me this copy of David Copperfield. I fell in love with it because not only was it old and beautiful, but because the original gift inscription from mother to daughter was in there. It felt like a connection to some long-forgotten Christmas morning scene featuring people I had never met but somehow felt I knew a little through this message. I bought it straightaway, of course, and I’ve often looked at it over the years and wondered about that mother and daughter. The shop has closed now too. One day it was there and then it wasn’t. It’s sort of like life, and this book reminds me of that.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
I absolutely love John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things. I’m always banging on about how brilliant it is and simply for that reason, I’d love to think that people will read it for a long time to come. It deserves to be a classic, in my humble opinion.
An excellent choice! I too love The Book of Lost Things. (I also love the Rob Ryan cover).
Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Tilly. All the best with your new book and for your writing career beyond it.