Caitlin and Niamh in Lower IV made excellent use of lockdown. While others of us were taking exercise, clearing out our attics or wondering when we could come back to school, Caitlin and Niamh wrote a book. This thriller comes complete with an amazing plot, great characters and a pace and verve that takes us helter-skelter into the glamorous world of the Hotel Grande.
‘Secrets Of the Hotel Grande’ is set in 1920s New York and this city’s first female detective is called in to track down a murderer. Will she succeed? Or will the Hotel Grande keep its secrets? You need to find out!
To obtain this great read, please go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B095NG3FN2/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_imm_awdb_7BZT5RJ9X3WC9H35M8GM
and learn more! Secrets of the Hotel Grande is available as a Kindle edition or a paperback.
Caitlin and Niamh here share some of their secrets (which include some great advice for budding authors)…
The writing of Secrets Of The Hotel Grande
By Niamh and Caitlin
‘We first had the idea and began writing ‘Secrets Of The Hotel Grande’ in a cold November break time in 2020 and finished and published it on 28th May 2021; the process seemed elongated, yet was extremely fulfilling. We completed the short novel in four steps; planning, writing, editing and publishing – none without their complications, of course. One of which being our three month separation due to the lockdown which was our main writing opportunity.
Planning was relatively facile, we spent our breaks and lunches taking refuge from the freezing winter weather hunched over what had become a thoroughly engaging project and stole occasional spare moments in between classes adding character traits and tending to every last detail of the plot. To create the perfect story line we summarised what would happen in each chapter and named our chapters although most had changed by the end of the process. As homage to our closest friends we borrowed their names for our female main characters (and sometimes their quirkiest personality traits too). With inventively imagined last names and plans of backstabbing and lies, we set our characters off into the brimming New York world dominated by the Hotel Grande we were just beginning to create!
Writing, however, is easier said than done. Being aspiring authors we leapt at the chance of being able to debut our much tended to creative writing skills. However, we soon realised the threat of erroneous punctuation and an inconsistent plot line could extend our deadline from Easter to Summer. We decided to write the chapters individually, Niamh taking the odd numbered chapters and Caitlin taking the even ones, with a week’s deadline for completion. Then, that chapter was edited by the other writer. Writing took us around four months as we had plenty of spare time in lockdown and both of us thoroughly enjoyed it, creating plot twists and secrets undiscovered until the final chapter; we became architects of a world capable of whatever we imagined.
Soon it was time for the final chapter and the epilogue which we believed was vital to be written by both of us. On one of our many facetime calls, on a Tuesday afternoon minutes after period six had ended, we sat down at our desks and began to write our denouement. It was a bittersweet moment as we truly believed our writing journey of ‘Secrets Of The Hotel Grande’ was ending, unknowing we still had at least two months left of our editing journey. Sending our beloved characters off in a true Hotel Grande fashion, some elegantly and some with not so glamorous fates, we concluded the second and most important step of our book.
Editing, however, was a trial of patience, organisation and phone battery life. Many times we tried to coordinate individual editing until we realised going through the document together would be the most effective. It was however, a lengthy process editing 35,000 words and could not be done in one sitting; sessions were forced to be woven into our school timetables, sleep schedules and busy weekend activities. We went through the document picking out mainly punctuation and grammar errors. However, surprisingly through the editing process, we added 5,000 extra words making Secrets Of The Hotel Grande the official word length of a novel! We were extremely proud of this achievement but were forced to bow down to the truth that our book would not be finished by Easter and we still had many more weeks of drooling over chromebook screens making sure chapters were stuffed to the brim with as many detailed adjectives and plot twists as possible. Finally, after two months of editing, we decided to call it quits. It was time to publish.
Publishing, like most of the steps, did not come without its pushbacks but fortunately we were able to sort them out reasonably with a bit of googling. Firstly we had to set up an amazon kindle direct publishing account, so with great excitement on the bottom bunk of Niamh’s bed, perched on a pile of soft toys, we grandly set up the page that would hopefully make our book famous (still waiting on fame). We went through the process of uploading the document, creating a beautiful cover, choosing a legible yet elegant font, and setting the price. We were ready to press publish and could nearly smell the familiar scent of a new book. Of course nothing great comes without its difficulties and pushing past the barrier of a pile of tax details, bank account numbers and overall technical misconstruities we were ready to publish our first book and could already hear it landing on the mat, with a camera ready to catch the moment we pressed publish. Only to read that the book would not be available to buy for up to 72 hours.
When we did finally hold our book in our hands we felt immensely proud of our achievement. It felt incredible to know that we put the effort in and created something we would have forever. Both of us would like to thank all our friends, our teachers and our family for supporting us throughout our literary journey and obviously an enormous thank you to everyone who has bought it and read it already! If you haven’t purchased a copy yet, it is available on the amazon website – simply search ‘Secrets Of The Hotel Grande’ and it should appear.
We would also like to note 50 percent of the earnings are donated to Oxfam, a charity that aims to end poverty all across the world. ‘Secrets Of The Hotel Grande’ was an amazing experience and can’t wait to get started on book two!’Categories: Priory Post Senior Whole School