contemporary YA / Meet the Author / Swanky 17s

Meet the Author: Victoria James


Vic James is a current affairs TV director who loves stories in all their forms. She has twice judged The Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker’ prize, has made films for BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4, and is a success story. Under its previous title, Slavedays, her book won the ‘Talk of the Town’ Watty Award – on a  site showcasing 150 million stories. Vic is a 2017 debutante three times over – GILDED CAGE is the first in a trilogy, all releasing in 2017. She lives in London.

Her debut novel, GILDED CAGE (DelRey (PenguinRandomHouse) / PanMacmillan, February 14, 2017) is a YA Contemporary Fantasy.


Fun facts:

The two or three items she needs to have with her when she sits down to write: Coffee and a clear mind. Anything else is optional. I love writing anywhere – planes, trains, and especially boats – so I can’t get too attached to items or rituals.

The literary character she’d most like to meet: Gandalf would have some great tales! And I’d love to ask astronaut-turned-star-child Dave Bowman what happened to him at the end of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

Her favorite childhood book: So many! I was a LORD OF THE RINGS fangirl, and was hopelessly in love with Edmund from the Narnia books. But I also loved Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA sequence, anything sci-fi (especially Asimov and John Wyndham), travel writing like Heinrich Harrer’s SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, and I adored all the yarns of an older generation, like THE FAMOUS FIVE and MALLORY TOWERS tales. When I was small, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT used to make me cry buckets.

Her hobbies when not writing/reading: Travelling and swimming. Also sleeping.

Her favorite Muppet and why: I’ve never watched the Muppets! But I’m friends with a super-talented writer named Debbie Goelz ( who happens to be married to Gonzo’s creator, Dave Goelz. So I’d better say Gonzo or she’ll never speak to me again. Dave also performed many of the puppets in LABYRINTH – that’s my kind of movie!

The craziest thing you did when you were 17: I went up to Oxford University a year early, so I was a 17-year-old undergraduate. After being a rather earnest and swotty teen (I used to set myself extra homework) I was finally launched into a thrilling new world. ‘Crazy’ would be one word for the things I did, but there are so many more.

If she could travel anywhere in the world, she’d go: I travel pretty adventurously – from Greenland, to a tiny whale-haunted island off Madagascar, to Everest Base Camp, to St Helena Island on the last British mail boat – so I’ve gone to most places I’ve wanted to see. Still on the wish-list, though, are Antarctica (in 2018), Mongolia (hopefully next year) and being a volunteer kakapo nest-watcher in New Zealand. Kakapo are also known as ‘owl parrots’, and yes, they really are as cute as that would suggest! (

Where You’ll Find Her:



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