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Author Spotlight

4 Surprising Things that ALMOST happened in HOTEL MAGNIFIQUE

Books often go through a LOT of changes before reaching publication–and some of those changes are bigger (and more surprising) than others! We asked Emily J. Taylor, author of Hotel Magnifique, to share some of the things that changed before her debut novel hit shelves. (Pssst, Hotel Magnifique is now in paperback!)

Scroll down to hear from Emily herself!

Hi, I’m Emily J. Taylor, the author of Hotel Magnifique. It’s the story of seventeen-year-old Jani, who takes a housekeeping job at the traveling Hotel Magnifique, only to learn that her contract is unbreakable and the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets. It’s a lush rollercoaster ride through a Belle Époque-inspired nightmare, perfect for fans of dark and romantic fantasy.

But my early readers can attest that Hotel Magnifique didn’t always go exactly the way it does now. To celebrate the paperback release, Penguin Teen challenged me to share a few of the big ways it changed before publication. I had a blast narrowing a (very) long list of changes down to my top four.

Without further ado…

Four BIG things that were cut from HOTEL MAGNIFIQUE

1: Bel once had TWO brothers!

I admit, I have a thing for writing sibling dynamics. As it stands, there are a few pairs of siblings in the story. But in a very early draft, there were two more in Bel’s older, mustachioed brothers, Poe and Conner. They were both dashing and utterly villainous, and they were axed to make room for the truly evil villains in the story. Sorry, Bel.

2: Jani worked in a fish leather tannery

Yes, you read that right. A fish leather tannery. An entire second chapter was deleted where Jani goes to work in the back room of Durc’s one and only fish leather tannery, dying colorful fish hides that were certainly not gross whatsoever. The chapter featured a brutish tannery boss who accuses Jani of stealing from his till and threatens to cut off her right hand. It was weird and ridiculous. I have fond memories of writing it and fonder memories of deleting it.

3: A creepy boy lived inside the hotel’s mirrors!

A sullen, pale boy creeped around inside the hotel mirrors, twisting reality, whispering poetry, and showing staff horrific things. He eventually turned out to be a younger version of Alastair, of course. But I cut him because his scenes leaned more towards graphic horror, which didn’t quite fit with the overall vibe.

4: The Midnight Soiree went on for FOUR WHOLE CHAPTERS.

I must have been a party planner in a past life because I adored writing that darn midnight soiree so much that I didn’t stop! At one point there was a casual murder, a romantic rendezvous with a mysterious guest, a beach dance that turned into another less casual murder, a magical food-garden-eating-extravaganza, and a whole second scene at the moon window featuring the mysterious guest and neck smooches. I remember wanting it to feel unhinged. And it did! Which is why it was cut.

Hotel Magnifique is out now in paperback!

Penguin Teen