For a Chat About her Novel ‘Purgatory Hotel’, Old Hollywood and Krispy Kreme Donuts!
Welcome, Anne-Marie. Grab a slice of cake and pull up a pew…
What inspired you to write your book, ‘Purgatory Hotel’?
There’s a Nick Cave song called God’s Hotel and one day when I was in my old job making dancewear (yes I said dancewear) my mind was wandering and it got me thinking about what if the afterlife was a hotel. Then I was thinking about that in a negative sense, as in how awful would it be to be trapped in an old hotel with a bunch of murderers and rapists and the rest of the story just grew from that. I listened to Nick Cave’s music a lot while writing as it’s quite dark and has the same tone as where I was going with the storyline and then ended up featuring one of his other songs in the novel.
Who was your favourite character in the novel and why?
I really enjoyed writing about Jackson Shade as he was quite hard to categorize, sometimes he was likable other times he wasn’t, I went from loving to hating him and back again in a few pages! He’s a loner, a bit dark and gloomy but quite happy with not being liked by most people. He’s probably more like me than I’d care to admit as far as his personality goes, but there are times when he is definitely nothing like me so he was interesting to develop.
You have recently had a screenplay made into a short horror movie, congratulations. Talk us through the process!
That came about because a good friend of mine was planning on making a movie or two and wanted to start out with a few shorts. He knew I had written a few screenplays in the past just for my own interest and asked if I’d work on one with him. So we collaborated on ideas and I wrote the screenplay for him. He then went on to produce and direct it as a short movie
I’m also really interested to hear more about the vintage articles that you pen for In Retrospect Magazine…
Well a few years back, In Retrospect Magazine were looking for people to contribute to their website, so I began writing articles about old Hollywood stars like Katherine Hepburn and Jane Russell and how to copy their outfits. I’m currently doing a series of interviews with small businesses that produce reproduction vintage clothing and accessories. Vintage fashion is a passion of mine so writing about it is a pleasure.
Favourite cake (when you have time to eat in between all of this multi-tasking)?
Oh lord…if I’m in a hurry, Krispy Kreme donuts. If I’m not – Cheesecake…or brownies…or carrot cake….oh god anything really apart from coffee cake!
What’s the loveliest thing a reader has said about your writing?
One of my friends read early chapters of Purgatory Hotel and said it was like Harry Potter meets The Shining. Literally the best thing he could have said!
And the not-so-loveliest?
Another friend who read early chapters said it was a bit silly and that no one had names like that in real life. I had to explain… it’s fiction…
Favourite place to holiday?
America. When I was little and fell in love with old Hollywood movies, I dreamed about going to Hollywood and to New York. I traveled there a fair bit around California and Las Vegas when I was younger and I just love it there despite its complicated political goings on and my issues with the treatment of the Native Americans! But it’s always my first choice if I get asked where I want to go on holiday – there’s so many places I haven’t seen there yet.
If you could choose three authors to invite over for a dinner party (and these have to be authors you haven’t yet met!), who would that trio comprise of?
Do they have to be alive? If not – Jack Kerouac, Ray Bradbury and Douglas Coupland. There would be a lot of wine.
We’d love to know what you are working on next… can you spill a few beans?
It is another paranormal crime thriller, this time set more in the real world and in a landscape I know very well – London.
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