Interview with Bonnie Traymore, Author of The Guest House

20 Mar 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Guest House?

This book was inspired by my daughter who, like the protagonist, is deaf with a cochlear implant. In it, Allie Dawson comes to Silicon Valley after receiving a grant from Laura Foster, to bring her captioning device to market. I wanted to educate people about what it’s like to sometimes hear, sometimes not, and most of the time, not be able to hear very well. Cochlear implants have internal and external parts, and the external part can’t get wet. They don’t work as well in noisy places. I tried to pepper this into the scenes and not hit readers over the head with it. Just enough to get the feel of what it’s like. If people only read one book of mine, I’d like it to be The Guest House. It’s important to me because of my daughter, and my desire to honor her struggles and accomplishments. I also think it makes for a great thriller read, playing with the different senses that need to compensate for not hearing. I’m most proud of this book.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Guest House, what would they be?

Tubthumping, by Chumbawaba. “I get knocked down, but I get up again…and you’re never gonna keep me down.”

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Mostly I like psychological thrillers and crime fiction, so yes it’s the same. But once in a while I like a rom-com or women’s fiction.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m reading Lisa Jewel’s I Found You, and a cozy called Death Unfiltered, which I’m reviewing for The Big Thrill, ITW’s magazine.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I really loved the scene where Ricky takes Allie on a date to the San Francisco Zoo. I went there on a date with my husband when we were dating, and it brought back fun memories.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I like to write before dawn, when the house is dark and quiet, with a strong cup of coffee.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Carpe Diem!

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I liked the climax scene, where Allie faces off against the antagonist. And I liked the scene where Ricky takes Allie on a date to the San Francisco Zoo, because I went on a date there with my hubby, one of our first. It brought back fun memories. I also liked the epilogue, but you’ll have to read it to find out why!


Bonnie Traymore is the author of the new book The Guest House

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