Phil: For various reasons, I was put up for the weekend in a Hilton Hotel. Before you get too excited, it was the Hilton Hotel, Basingstoke. The one that Mr & Mrs Hilton wished they’d named their daughter after because she’d be a lot less trouble that way.
Anyway, I think it might be the perfect hideaway for writers. When you are sat in front of the computer screen you must be free of distractions and this is exactly what a business hotel provides. Those on the road don’t want character, they want anonymity. The space has to be clean, serve food and enjoy a decent car park. My hotel, whilst technically in Basingstoke, actually exists in a little bubble just off the ring road. As far as I could tell you couldn’t actually go anywhere from there other than back on to said road, so there was no temptation to wander off into the town to the pub. The decor is pleasant but bland so you aren’t going to be distracted for too long once you’ve worked out what all the light switches do, sniffed the toiletries and played with the menu on the telly for a few minutes.
From a practical point of view, there is a decent desk in each room intended to house a laptop and some business papers. There’s even a little notepad and a pen. Alternatively, power points (as opposed to PowerPoint, which is what many of the laptops will be being used for) could be found in the foyer. Food and drink are served there by discreet staff. What else do you need ?
As far as team nolanparker go, I can see this being a big help finishing Book 1 (again) and getting cracking on Book 2. From my perspective, I can start the day with a nice bit of museli, some fruit and a yogurt before flexing my creative muscles.
Nolan can go for the full English (3 rashers bacon, 2 sausages, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, beans, hash browns, potato scone thing, all covered in lashings of brown sauce with a touch of ketchup because it’s important to have some vegetables), toast (with butter not that yellow spread), strong coffee, glass of traditional Oirish stout and maybe finishing off with a chocolate muffin or three. Then after a snooze, there is the little gym to work it all off again. Maybe after that a bath making use of the body wash that appears to be full of glitter (yes, really) because that’s what people in marketing like.
The only snag is paying for this. Once you are a superstar author, you don’t worry about the bill but as we aren’t technically there yet I need to have a chat with Hilton Hotels and see if they want to supply two free rooms with food for a couple of writers in residence occasionally. For this consideration, they get a plug in our best-selling book. We already have our characters stopping at such a place so adding the appropriate trade name and perhaps a few carefully researched details would be no great hardship. In fact the product placement in this blog post ought to get me about a week in one of the less glamorous locations.
And the point about the location is vital – I don’t want to stop in Paris or London. Basingstoke is fine – I’m not going out of the front door. Best of all, those are the very rooms they can’t let at weekends, so there you are commercial hotel owners, a whole new and lucrative market is waiting for you.
Please make your thank-yous payable to “Mr P Parker”.