Deborah Moggach is visiting Writer’s Corner today to discuss her new novel. She is a new author for me. I look forward sharing our visit with you. She is the bestselling author of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We are celebrating her new novel Heartbreak Hotel. It is receiving great praise from the likes of Good House Keeping, Marie Claire, and others.
Susan welcome and thank you for coming to Writer’s Corner. What can you tell us about your new novel Heartbreak Hotel?
It’s set in a ramshackle hotel in Wales, run by an old actor (Buffy), who has the bright idea of creating Courses for Divorces. When people split up they enroll on a course to learn the skill the other person had in the relationship – car maintenance, cooking, gardening and so on. (see a description on my website )
What part in the story does divorce play?
Divorce runs through the book. Most of us face it at some point in our lives – I certainly have – and the book’s hero, Buffy, is a veteran of the marriage-go-round, having had at least three wives.
How do you write good humor?
Humour should arise from the characters, rather than be added to them. I think practically every situation, however tragic, has humour somewhere within it, and I like to recognize that.
What excites you the most about writing?
The moment when the characters become so real they start telling ME what they should be doing. That’s when a novel really takes off.
How do you find the inspiration to write great novels?
Inspiration can arrive at the most unlikely moments. One can’t force it. I just know when it’s happening. This isn’t often – I probably have one good idea a year!
What are you most excited with your books going to films?
Yes, thrilled. It gives them another life, an utterly different one, and the plot usually changes too. I’ve adapted many of my books for the screen and the whole process is fascinating. And I love film sets and actors – they’re always so charming and they make me see my characters anew.
Since writing runs in the family do your daughters share the love of writing?
Yes, my daughter Lottie has written a wonderful novel called “Kiss me First” which has been published in America. I couldn’t be more proud.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve just finished a novel called “Something to Hide” (see above), which is set in China, Texas and West Africa. It’s very different but hopefully you can hear my voice in it.
I’m adapting “Heartbreak Hotel” into a TV drama, in six episodes.
What advice would you give new writers?
Write every day. Be confident! Don’t try to be “literary”, it won’t sound truthful. Get into your characters’ skins and they will help write the novel for you.