Transcript: Children Chatting With Nicki Thornton

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a certified or verbatim transcript, but rather represents only the context of the class or meeting, subject to the inherent limitations of real-time captioning. The primary focus of real-time captioning is general communication access and as such this document is not suitable, acceptable, nor is it intended for use in any type of legal proceeding.

Children Chatting Podcast: Discussion between Nicki Thornton and the Children Chatting Kids

[Music intro]

KIANA: Hello, everyone. You are listening to Children Chatting with Authors. Today we are here with a special guest, Nikki Thornton, author of the book, The Last Chance Hotel. Hi, my name is Kiana. How would you summarize your book?

NICKI THORNTON: Yeah, I think that I like to tell people that my book is about a kitchen boy who works in a remote hotel and he's quite keen to leave and he hopes for change and then suddenly he's very excited when the hotel is very full one evening and he makes an incredible dessert for the VIP guests in the hope that his life is going to change. And it does change, but because he gets accused of murder when the person he's made the dessert for is poisoned. And that's when Seth Seppi discovers that the reason the hotel is so full is because everyone staying there is a sorcerer and he knows that magic has been used in the murder. So not only to clear his name, to see me, to find out who committed the murder and why, but how magic might be involved. So he has to find out all about magic and how you become magic and the sort of lengths people might go to in order to become magical, which is quite a lot of summary, I'm afraid.

KIANA: And I actually have another question. The owners of the hotel, did they like steal the hotel from somebody or did they just own it?

NICKI: They kind of, yeah, they kind of, I think that they...Because Seth is quite...He's only a kid really in the story, so he doesn't really know exactly what's going on. So I think people have been taking advantage of him. So I think that there's definitely people have not been very truthful to Seth. Definitely.

EVA: Hi. Hi. My name's Eva. And my question is why do you have a hotel as like the main setting and not like could have been like a ballroom as like the party place?

NICKI: So the idea of the book, The Last Chance Hotel, came when I was, I used to walk into, I still walk in some woods near where I live called Wytham Woods. And in the middle of this quite big wood, there is a really dilapidated old building. And I always used to wonder, this is what happens, I think, when you like dreaming up stories is, I used to think, "I wonder why someone would build a house in the middle of a wood like that." These days, it's all been renovated and it's looks very fancy, but it used to be quite run down. And that's really how the idea of the book started. So that was really why I set it in that particular place in that building was because I imagined that that, it would be perhaps a home of somebody magical who had to live somewhere quite secretly. So that's how the idea started.

EVA: Thank you.

NICKI: Who's going to be brave?

SEBASTIEN: Hi, my name is Sebastien.

NICKI: Hi there.

SEBASTIEN: My question is do you know how many books there's going to be in the series?

NICKI: I don't know because I think I've got lots and lots of ideas, but it all just depends on lots of things. Publishing is quite a complicated thing. But did you know that there's already, because you're in the States, did you know that there has already been a second book published in the UK? Can you see that?

SEBASTIEN: Yeah, I'm listening to the audiobook right now.

NICKI: Okay. Oh, well that's good. The Bad Luck Lighthouse. And there's also going to be a third book which I am just in the middle of writing now and that will be out in the UK in April. But I don't, again, I don't know. Everything is very complicated and somewhat out of my hand, so I don't really know how it appears in other countries. And I was going to show you this, as well. Because the Bad Luck Lighthouse is already out. Would you have a guess of what language that is? How clearly can you see that? Any guess, we'll have a guess.

SEBASTIEN: I think it might be Hebrew?

NICKI: It's Russian, but that's a good guess. That is a good guess. So it's already out in Russia. So they've brought it out like really quickly. But The Last Chance Hotel, which was my first book, that's the UK cover. Have you seen the UK cover?


NICKI: Yes. It looks quite different. That's going to be...So that in, there's some countries that where they want to publish it, but they haven't published it yet. So that one will still come out in some countries, whereas other countries already published the second book. So the third one is kind of nearly ready to go and that will be in April. And so far, there's no news yet. So fingers crossed. I'd like to do some more. You like to read some more?

SEBASTIEN: Yeah, definitely.

NICKI: That's good. That was the right answer. That's good. Yeah. Thanks very much. Have you got any more questions? Is that your question?


NICKI: Yeah. Good. Excellent.

SEBASTIEN: Thank you.

NICKI: And enjoy the audiobook.


NICKI: Good.

CYRUS: Hi, my name is Cyrus.

NICKI: Hello there. Nice to meet you.

CYRUS: Nice to meet you too. My name is Cyrus. And my question is what made you write this book?

NICKI: Well, I think the main reason for writing it was because I worked for many years in a bookshop. And sometimes when you're talking to young people about the books that they read, you do start remembering what you read when you were younger. And I think what really, really got me into reading was reading murder mysteries. And I started reading murder mysteries, which are really kind of, they are really adult books, when I was quite young, but I used to really enjoy them. But I found that there were not many murder mysteries written for children for perhaps quite obvious reasons. So by doing it with a bit of magic, I think I've hopefully, what I really wanted to do is write a murder mystery that would have all those elements of detective stories that I really liked, but make it quite sort of friendly for sort of younger readers. Not too focused on the murder, more on the sort of the mystery.

CYRUS: Okay, thank you.

NICKI: Thank you.

CYRUS: Okay, bye.


LAUREN: My name is Lauren. I'm the children's librarian here at studio city library. And I want to ask you, your characters were very well developed, especially the main character Seth, but also his antagonist, Tiffany. I would cringe along with Seth whenever she would appear. Did you enjoy developing the character of Tiffany as you were writing?

NICKI: Yes. As you can possibly get, I think she was the most fun character to write. And it was really...It was when you get offered a publisher and they say, "Oh, we want to publish your book," they often make a few changes. And you do have to go through things, sometimes do several drafts. And one of the things I quite liked was that my editor kept going, "I think you could make her a bit nastier." So she got nastier as the edits went on actually. But yes, a few people have said that they, every time that she appears, there is a little feeling of dread, which makes me feel very happy because I love creating a nice feeling of dread in my readers. That's so much fun. And people really don't like her. They just, I think they get very angry about the injustice of how she treats Seth, as well. So it's quite a fun thing to do.


MILES: Thanks for listening to the Children Chatting With Authors Podcast.

[Music outro]

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a certified or verbatim transcript, but rather represents only the context of the class or meeting, subject to the inherent limitations of real-time captioning. The primary focus of real-time captioning is general communication access and as such this document is not suitable, acceptable, nor is it intended for use in any type of legal proceeding. Transcript by