When I set out to write Hotel 1982 all I had was a blank screen.
Everything in it is based on memory of events, although I did have access to a couple of letters that I had written home during my time there. Yes, I really did just keep asking for money! I wish I had the letters that were sent to Leeds, or those that came from there, not least as it would have confirmed that I was right to call myself the Emperor of Embarrassing Twats. ET write home.
Obviously Google helped too in making sure that some of the dates were right - for example, checking that I had indeed read about AIDS in The Standard and hadn't dreamt that up. Keir Starmer also helped me to confirm what I had suspected, when he appeared on a TV interview with Piers Morgan and shared a photo as a student lying on the floor with someone I recognised. Well I'm going to maintain that's the truth unless proven otherwise!
Whilst I can remember the detailed conversations that made up Hotel 1982, I probably can't tell you what I ate for dinner last night. Maybe my time in the hotel really did make a massive impression on me. The brain is a fascinating thing, innit.