Victoria asked Chris Bohjalian:

Oh my! Where to start? I met you last summer, and I have to say, you are one of the kindest people I have ever, thank you for that! I thoroughly enjoy each book you write. I'm amazed that you have such a variety of topics you have written about. How does the process of a story come about? Do you have tons of story ideas rattling around in your head? Lol

Chris Bohjalian Why thank you so much, Victoria. I blush -- and I am honored.

My goal is never to write the same book twice: I never want to disappoint my readers (though, obviously, sometimes I do).

So, yes, I hope each books feels a little different.

I don't have tons of story ideas rattling around in my head. But I have a few. Sometimes I have gotten 100 or so pages into a novel and discovered that my talent is just not commensurate with my vision. And sometimes the opposite happens: my characters take me by the hand and lead me in directions I never imagined.

For instance, my next novel (January's THE GUEST ROOM) began when I saw a young woman my daughter's age in a hotel lobby at four in the morning, paying off the bellman to get upstairs. This was in a hotel eight time zones away, but I knew what was going on and my heart broke for that girl.

And I started writing.

I never expected, however, that the book would morph into a tale of a marriage in crisis in a New York City suburb, and the story of two different but very remarkable women.

Thanks for asking, Victoria. I'm grateful.

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