Today’s special guest author is Michael James and we’re chatting about his new urban fantasy series, The Hotel. So far, the series includes, The Hotel at the End of Time (Book 1) and The Well at the Bottom of Everything (Book 2).
During his virtual book tour, Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!
Michael James spent his formative years writing, and when he wasn’t writing, he was writing. A mistaken belief that a “real” job would be more satisfying led him down a dark path that did not involve writing but did involve meetings. Fortunately, he has since course-corrected and is back on the right (write? Ha!) path. The Hotel at the End of Time is not his first book, but it is the one with the most Hotels in it.
He lives in Canada with his family. When he’s not writing, he does Canadian things – saying sorry a lot, being polite, talking about the weather, you know how it goes.
Welcome, Michael. Please tell us about your current release.
My most recent book is called The Well at the Bottom of Everything. It’s the action-packed sequel to The Hotel at the End of Time. I should clarify that this is not a travel book, as I’ve had a few people write me, disappointed about the lack of Hotel / Well reviews.
No, these are books about human batteries facing off against mysterious forces, duplicate psychopaths, and in one scene, a testicle-eating mammal. They’re hilarious and thrilling, but unfortunately, not a Hotel guide.
PS – I should also clarify that there’s almost no instructions on dowsing a Well in the second book.
What inspired you to write this book?
You’d think Hotels, but no. Actually, the entire book was inspired by a song called Hermila by a band called Shout Out Louds. The opening lyrics are:
So I calculate every move, every step
On the ice, beyond shades, on the sharpest of blades
So I calculate every move, every step
On the shadow in the light, on the last breath at night
But when my heart stops
I’m letting you go
There’ll be another one,
To follow you home
I was immensely fascinated by the line “when my heart stops / I’m letting you go / there’ll be another one / to follow you home”. That’s basically the plot of the Hotel at the End of Time.
Blurb for The Hotel at the End of Time:
Vain is the only person to ever escape from the Hotel at the end of time. On her way out, she took their prized possession: A Padlock that grants immortality.
They will do anything to get it back.
The forces of the Hotel are aligned against her: mundane items turned into weapons; a group of multi-dimensional felons collectively named The Wyatts; and their leader, Trick, a mild-to-medium psychopath with a fondness for impractical jokes.
Everything changes when Vain meets Emma, a timid grad student with impossible and terrifying powers. Together, they are propelled into an adventure that will see them battle the Wyatts, blow up several objects of significant value, and quite by accident, discover a way to stop the Hotel.
Even with Emma, Vain has a lot of problems to deal with.
She’s exhausted from being hunted.
Stopping the Hotel might kill them.
She has a hangnail.
But Vain is resourceful. Vain is clever.
And she always has a plan.
Excerpt from The Hotel at the End of Time:
“How is it for you?” Emma stood up and dusted herself off. “How do you do it?”
Vain tilted her head. “You know how when everyone tells you what to do, tries to get you to act in a certain way, but when their head is turned, you punch their dick into slush?”
“I do not. Not at all. I’m not even sure you’ve described a real thing.”
“Well, that’s what using the power is like to me. I channel that emotion.”
“If I ever encountered a culture where the emotion associated with genital-punching as a response to be being told what to do was so commonplace they needed a word for it, I would never, ever visit them.”
“Sweden must have a word for that. Aren’t they constantly incoherent with rage?”
Emma shook her head. “Without knowing one word of Swedish, I’m positive they do not have a specific word for that.”
“How is this helping me? You said you’d teach me how to use these powers.”
“I will,” said Vain. “Think of me as your own personal Yoda.”
“The tree frog from the Star Wars movies?
What exciting story are you working on next?
Book 3 of The Hotel. It’s tentatively called The Elevator at the Crossroads of Everywhere and it will complete the Hotel trilogy. I hope to release it in the spring of 2022.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t, not really. I mean, I write a lot, and I’ve had a few stories published, and I have three books out, but… huh, I’m not actually sure where I was going with this.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I write after work and on weekends. Finding time to write is easy, you just have to decide not to do other things. In my case, I don’t really watch much TV. I mostly write and play video games and occasionally go on adventures and solve crimes with my talking dog, Mick-Mick, but that’s not as interesting.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m neither right nor left-handed, so writing longhand is a real challenge.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A ninja that would solve crimes by parachuting out of planes. Mostly I think I wanted to go skydiving with giant swords. Anyway, I actually did that for a few years, but it wasn’t as thrilling as you’d think. Mostly, I was hired to break up bush parties and the occasional Jonas Brothers concert.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Only this piece of advice: Yes, you should absolutely get that checked out.
Thanks for being here today, Michael.