THE BOOK: Hotel Obscure
PUBLISHED IN: 2018
THE AUTHOR: Lisette Brodey
SUMMARY: In a run-down neighborhood in an unnamed city, people live and die in “the Obscure.” Whether anyone remembers the real name of the derelict establishment is a mystery. In this six-story building, most who occupy the rooms are long-term residents, though some stay for as little as an hour. The patronage is an eclectic group: musicians, writers, addicts, hookers, lonely people, poor people, rich people, once-well-off people, and those who have reason to hide from their former lives or to escape the demands of a disapproving and punishing society. As shabby as the Obscure is, as long as its walls keep out the wind and the rain, it remains a shelter, a hideaway, and a home for the many bewildered souls.
Hotel Obscure is a collection of seventeen short stories that all take place in or around the “the Obscure.” While the stories stand alone, they are to be read in order. Some characters appear in multiple stories, and sometimes, a story will continue in an unexpected way. The Obscure is life. It is death. In the blink of an eye, it may appear supernatural. It is a place we all visit … whether metaphorically or physically, at least once in our time on Earth.
THE BACK STORY: Throughout my life, I have been a people watcher with a great interest in what makes them tick. As a writer, I have found it nearly impossible to contain my enthusiasm for the written word to one genre. So, without ever planning to be one, I became a multi-genre author. I have published books in contemporary fiction, coming-of-age, YA paranormal, romantic comedy, and literary fiction. When I was working on my YA paranormal trilogy, The Desert Series, I became frustrated with some of the language restrictions that come with writing in that genre. So, how does this explain the birth of Hotel Obscure? Well, while I was waiting for edits to be completed, I had some free time to write. I wasn’t sure what to write about, I just knew that it had to be literary fiction. I didn’t want to start a new book that I would have to tuck away once it was time to return to the YA novel. So, I began writing a short story. To me, it was the perfect outlet for my frustration. It worked. Then I wrote second story. I can’t remember how it happened, but soon after, I knew that I wanted to write a collection of stories to take place in and around one location. I’m guessing that I chose the locale of a run-down hotel because that’s where the first story took place … and because the locale intrigued me.
I’ve always been drawn to urban settings and the innumerable stories of the eclectic people who live in them. After I wrote the first two stories, I dug into folders of decades-old ideas seeing what I might unearth. As suspected, I found a few lost gems. And while I have used those ideas to create new stories, they bear very little resemblance to how I originally envisioned them. But I think this experience illustrates why authors should save old ideas that appear to have no future. One never knows.
So, that is how the idea for Hotel Obscure revealed itself to me. Though it is a short story collection, in many ways, I think of it as a novel, and that is why, as mentioned above, the stories should be read the order in which they appear. I never thought of myself as a short story writer, but Hotel Obscure is now one of my favorite books (that I’ve written), and yes, I definitely want to write another themed collection in the future.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? This book’s greatest appeal is to readers who enjoy character studies and character-driven stories. When one reads Hotel Obscure, they gain the superpower to become invisible and to meet the people who live in and around the establishment. It is quite possible that many will meet people not dissimilar from themselves or those they know.
“Hotel Obscure is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. The tales (quick, easy reads) are brilliant and unfold in a fascinating story world that is like a delightful blend of Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, and a dash of the Twilight Zone.”
“The Hotel Obscure – almost a character in its own right – squats in a run-down section of the city and its slow but certain disintegration mirrors the lives of many of the individuals who populate the pages of this work.”
“Ms Brodey has a talent for sharp dialogue, and her powers of observation and insight into people’s mindsets are very keen.”
“I see the book as being more like an episodic novel in which the main character is the hotel itself, and the stories are of the various people that pass through the hotel and of their relationship to the hotel.”
AUTHOR PROFILE: I have been writing since I learned how to do so. What I didn’t know early on, however, was what I wanted to write. For a while, I thought I might be a playwright, then a screenwriter, but I finally came to the conclusion, for many reasons, that writing novels and stories was by far the best fit for me. Despite the fact that I have folders filled with poetry, I never, even for second, had any desire to be a poet. I far prefer to write poetic prose. Humor is also a big part of my writing. I couldn’t write without it. If I’m writing a romantic comedy, well, the humor is obvious. But even if I’m writing a very dark story, there are times when humor just sneaks out of the woodwork and inserts itself on the page. It’s very stubborn and doesn’t want to leave. There’s rarely any argument from me when that happens.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: You can read samples of all of my books on Amazon.com. (See links below)
PRICE: The Kindle edition of Hotel Obscure is $2.99. At the current time, all of my e-books are free to read if you’re a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. The paperback edition of Hotel Obscure is $14.95. Additionally, all of my books are available in paperback at various prices.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Website: http://lisettebrodey.com
Amazon Author page: (Universal Link) Author.to/lisettebrodey Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisetteBrodey