I’d wanted to write a YA version of the song Hotel California. After staying in a creepy hotel in San Francisco, I was truly inspired. First, I was put on practically abandoned floor with moving boxes in the hallway. Then my room was set in an old-fashioned style while my friends’ rooms on another floor was modern and fine. And when I went to leave the room, the hallway was so eerily quiet, it was suffocating. By the end of that weekend, I had a full synopsis.
I think at first I planned to go all-out horror, but as I wrote the book, I ended up adding so much emotion and grief that it became less about the scares and more about the character’s journey.
Did anything surprise you while writing HOTEL RUBY?
I loved the main character’s backstory with her ex-boyfriend. It came from a real place, and on the page, I think it feels very real. It added an unexpected depth to the character.
Tune in on Wednesday for part 2 of our Q&A!