Today I have something a bit different here on my blog. You all know that I like featuring authors from time to time in order to spread the word about books. Today is one of those days. Please welcome author Deborah Moggach, a writer you may be familiar with from her smash hit THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, a delightful movie based on one of her books and starred by Dame Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, among other excellent actors and actresses.
Deborah Moggach has been so kind as to choose my blog today for having a little interview, answering questions about her new novel, HEARTBREAK HOTEL, a laugh-out-loud, heartwarming tale that showcases Moggach’s loving understanding of human foibles.
HEARTBREAK HOTEL (on sale since 3/3/15) follows a retired actor as he moves from the hustle and bustle of London to a run-down B&B that leans more towards shabby than chic. Realizing he needs to fill the B&B’s beds quickly—and tidy up the garden while he’s at it!—Buffy comes up with a brilliant plan to kill two birds with one stone: a class that teaches the newly divorced how to perform the everyday tasks previously done by their other halves, like the gardening…
Enter a motley crew of guests: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman, Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend, and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is too much for him to handle. But under Buffy’s watchful eye, this disparate group of strangers finds that they have more in common than perhaps they first thought.
Q&A WITH DEBORAH MOGGACH
- What inspired you to write such a dynamic book with so many different characters?
I wanted to set another novel in a hotel, after “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, because hotels have all human life in them – you can imprison your characters in a place and see how they react to each other. So, as it’s a hotel, it has to have lots of guests. The problem is not to confuse the reader, so I sort of feed them to the reader slowly.
- What was your writing process with this book compared to the other books you have written? Did it differ in any way?
It’s most similar to a novel I wrote called “The Ex-Wives”, partly because it has the same character in it – Buffy – and partly because I went all-out to be funny. My other novels are very different, and varied.
- Did you specifically write Buffy from someone you knew?
Yes, he was based on a lovely boyfriend I had for ten years (till he died) – a cartoonist called Mel Calman. He wasn’t fat, and he wasn’t a boozer, but he had a beard and he loved women, and chatting to women, and he was fantastically funny. Some of his jokes are in the book, even though he died 20 years ago.
- What is your favorite part of HEARTBREAK HOTEL?
Gosh, that’s difficult. Maybe the scene between Rosemary and Douglas, in her bedroom, when their marriage is re-kindled. I find it rather touching, even though I say so myself.
- Every character changes throughout the book but at the same time there is a connection between all of them. How hard or easy was it to intertwine all these stories? Before you wrote the story did you already know what was going to happen in the end?
Yes, I knew what was going to happen in the end. It would be too confusing to write otherwise. BUT I hope, when I’m writing, that the characters take on so much life that THEY start pulling the plot in various directions. But I have ultimate control. Novels are simply about relationships – between people, between words, between humour and tragedy, between dialogue and description. The challenge was to keep all those relationships bubbling along and developing, in what is quite a complicated plot.
I want to thank Ms. Moggach for being today on my blog. It has been a pleasure and now I have more books to add to my never-ending list of books to read.
Have a happy Friday, everyone!