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Steven Butler

Steven Butler

THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL by STEVEN BUTLER is a funny, madcap adventure set in the world's strangest - and most invisible - hotel!

Look out for goblins and trolls rubbing shoulders with giant spiders and mermaids... and the odd human child. Which is where Frankie comes in - a boy who is human, but with a touch of troll blood in his veins. In this story, Frankie has his hands full trying to keep an unruly goblin king in check.

We asked author STEVEN BUTLER - who also presents the World Book Day book shows - to tell us more!


Q: Where will you be on World Book Day?

A: I will be in Doncaster, hosting World Book Day's The Biggest Book Show On Earth in front of 1700 children. It's a real honour to be wrangling all the authors and celebrating this brilliant date in the literary calendar.


Q: What sparked your idea for this book of a hotel for magical creatures - The Nothing to See Here Hotel?

A: I love the idea of magical things hidden in plain sight around us, so I guess it started there. The Nothing To See Here Hotel was a little challenge to myself to see how many magical characters and unexpected plot twists I could fit in one story.


Q: How did you decide on its title?

A: The title happened relatively naturally. The hotel is secret to the human world and 'nothing to see here' seemed like the correct name to use. If my memory serves me correctly it was my friend, Francesca Simon, who first uttered the phrase to me and I pinched it immediately.


Q: How did you go about creating this world?

A: The magicals who inhabit the hotel are extremely varied in species, personalities, ages, sexes and powers. Their daily desires are quite similar to ours, but their expectations are grander because the magical world is limitless in its possibilities. They don't have any modern technology, but they still enjoy a spot of luxury.


Q: Your narrator, Frankie, whose family run the hotel, has troll ancestors. What's the coolest thing about being part-troll?

A: The coolest thing about being part-troll is having eyes the colour of copper pennies and being able to see in the dark.


Q: If you could have a bit of magical creature in you, what would you want it to be?

A. I think I'd like to be a wereanimal. Maybe a werepanda?


Q: And if you could meet any of the Nothing to See Here Hotel's guests, who would it be?

A: I'd love to spend the day with Nancy the giant Orkney Brittle-Back spider. She's the hotel chef and I love cooking. I think we'd get along swimmingly.


Q: What would be the best and worst things about spending a night at The Nothing to See Here Hotel?

A. The best thing would be a cool dip in the luxurious mud spa, and the worst thing would be all the sardine skeletons floating the pool, left by Mrs Dunch the mermaid.


Q: Does having magic in the story make it easier or harder to write?

A: A bit of both. Having magic in the story means it's easier to be wild and crazy with my plot lines, but harder to do something truly original. There are a lot of books about magic out there.


Q: Will you be writing more books about Frankie and the hotel?

A: Yes indeedy!!! Book two is well on its way. It features Yetis, a giant magical blizzard, shrunken heads, an enormous feast and a very bad tempered leprechaun.


Q: What are you planning for your school events for The Nothing to See Here Hotel?

A: Lots of storytelling and jokes. I love making my readers laugh.


Q: What's the best question a child has ever asked you?

A: "Aren't you dead? I thought you were!"


Q: Where is your favourite place to write and what are you writing now?

A. I write at my desk in my flat and I'm writing the answer to these questions as we speak... HAHA!


Q: What is your favourite escape from writing?

A: Cooking!! I love it. Nothing brings me more joy than clattering about in my kitchen, making lovely things to eat.

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