Interview with Michael James, Author of The Hotel at the End of Time
09 Feb 2021
What can you tell us about your new release, The Hotel at the End of Time?
I should let people know that this is not a travel guide, as there’s been some confusion about that. The Hotel at the End of Time is real place in the book, but not real in the sense that it exists here in this world. The book itself is real though. It exists.
So, to sum up: It’s a real book about made-up things and it’s not a travel guide. It’s best to think of this as a laugh-out-loud funny Urban Fantasy about the people who escaped from the Hotel that includes some light-to-medium magic and a weird number of explosions.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
The ghost of John Milton who lives in my library. I’m sure this is a trite answer but having a world-famous dead poet yell at you for writing crappy poetry really puts things in perspective. I started writing about four or five years ago and despite the lack of encouragement from John Milton, I seem to have developed a knack for this.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
I kind of have to say Paradise Lost because of the aforementioned ghost of John Milton, but aside from that, I will select The Library at Mt. Char by Scott Hawkins, The Shining by Stephen King, Helen Keller’s Teacher by Margaret Davidson and Robert Jordan’s entire Wheel of Time Series, which I will count as one singular novel for the purposes of this quiz.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Remember that YouTube clip from about fifteen years ago of that Techno Viking guy who broke up a fight and then rage-danced down the street? It would be him. My first and only question would be, “why are you so awesome and please teach me how to be that awesome”.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Oh, that’s easy. It’s the exhaustive financial challenge of figuring out what to do with all this sweet, sweet writing cash I practically drown in. Do I invest? Buy an island? Do some kind of weird Brewster’s Million’s kind of thing where I try to spend a million dollars a day? Honestly, it’s tough.
What is a typical day like for you?
John Milton will usually yell me awake pretty early. I try to write in the morning before the day starts. Then it’s off to my day-to-day job, which honestly isn’t that interesting – I fight tigers while parachuting out of exploding airplanes. Sometimes there are ninjas. I know what you’re thinking, did I go to school for that? And yes. I majored in economics, as most plane-falling tiger-fighters do.
What scene from The Hotel at the End of Time was your favorite to write?
I’m always tempted to say the scene where an Australian rodent tries to bite off a man’s testicles, but as it turns out, that specific scene was problematic and costly to research. So, I suppose I’d say the final scene. I had it in my head from the moment I started writing the book and I believe I did the work to build to an incredibly satisfying conclusion.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
No, but this question sent me into a small panic as I was like “oh my god, does everyone have a motto or quote or philosophy they live by? Is this something that normal people are expected to have? I have a ukulele. Does that count?”
I asked around a little bit and found out that mostly this is only something you need to have ready in the case of interviews. In that light, I suppose my motto would be always have a motto ready for book interviews otherwise you end rambling about how you don’t have one and for some reason talking about ukuleles.
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