Please help me welcome Daniel A. Rabuzzi, author of [amazon_link id=”1927469090″ target=”_blank” ]The Indigo Pheasant (Longing for Yount, #2)[/amazon_link], which was released early last month. The first book of the series, [amazon_link id=”0980941075″ target=”_blank” ]The Choir Boats[/amazon_link], published in 2009 by ChiZine Publications.
Daniel has prepared a guest post on the selection of titles for both books as well as the series name. Titles are a topic that interest me very much. If you have followed my other blog tours you probably have noticed that. It was the topic in the previous blog tour hosted on The Cozy Reader.
Continue reading for a chance to win an eBook of the first book or the second if you have already read the first book.
[amazon_link id=”1927469090″ target=”_blank” ]The Indigo Pheasant (Longing for Yount, #2)[/amazon_link] by Daniel A. Rabuzzi
ChiZine Publications | September 5, 2012 | 350 pages
London 1817. Maggie Collins, born into slavery in Maryland, whose mathematical genius and strength of mind can match those of a goddess, must build the world’s most powerful and sophisticated machine—to free the lost land of Yount from the fallen angel Strix Tender Wurm. Sally, of the merchant house McDoon, who displayed her own powers in challenging the Wurm and finding Yount in The Choir Boats, must choose either to help Maggie or to hinder her. Together—or not—Maggie and Sally drive to conclusion the story started in The Choir Boats—a story of blood-soaked song, family secrets, sins new and old in search of expiation, forbidden love, high policy and acts of state, financial ruin, betrayals intimate and grand, sorcery from the origins of time, and battle in the streets of London and on the arcane seas of Yount.
Daniel A. Rabuzzi Guest Post
Titles: The Choir Boats and The Indigo Pheasant
Thank you Jess for asking me to be your guest at The Cozy Reader—and hello readers of the blog.
Jess asked me to talk about how I came up with the titles for my novels: The Choir Boats (ChiZine Publications/CZP, 2009) and its sequel, The Indigo Pheasant (CZP, 2012). As other guests at The Cozy Reader have noted, titles need to grab a reader’s attention, offer the promise of a good story, inform the browser of some crucial element in the narrative. (I will leave it to you who are reading this post to decide whether my titles succeed at doing those things). For me, a good title is a title that makes me ask “what might this be?” and then open the book to pursue the answer to my question.
As I have written elsewhere (for instance, “A Picture-Show in the Night-Kitchen,” at Layers of Thought, Sept. 26th, 2012 ), I am an “imagist,” not a “plotter.” My writing springs from images and words that come to me, at stray and unplanned moments, most often in the middle of the night. A scene (a man wearing a hat like a layer cake, slouching on a slow horse in the middle of a salt-marsh, for instance, or a woman striding down a spiral staircase, clutching a large leather-bound book under one arm and ringing a small bell with her other hand)… or a phrase, sometimes a single word…swims into my mind, and I wonder what it means, what its story might be. I ask, “what comes next?”
So it was with my titles. They simply came to me and waited patiently for me to discover and explore their stories. “What might a choir boat be?” I was already writing about a place called Yount and a merchant family in London in 1812 and a girl who had escaped slavery in Maryland. I knew that somehow this “choir boat” (whatever it was) had a place in their increasingly entwined stories. Later, as the tale continued to grow and sprout branches, I found an “indigo pheasant” coursing through the underbrush, and knew at once that it too had a role to play.
Jess, your query has pushed me to delve into the roots of my titles. I love adjectives and I love compound nouns. I love pairings of words that are individually commonplace but together form odd or enigmatic meanings. We know what a “choir” is and equally what a “boat” is, but what is a “choir boat”? Likewise the “indigo” and the “pheasant.” I have a notebook full of similar couplings, everyday words yoked together to form something that cannot quite be placed. All of them are like creatures in a menagerie of hybrids, sleeping under glass, biding their time for the right moment to dash fully awake with their stories pouring forth.
I had not realized until I wrote this post how many of my favorite titles take the form I describe above. The Yellow Wallpaper. The Golden Compass. The Golden Bowl. The Porcelain Dove. The Glass-Bead Game. Sacred Hunger. James and the Giant Peach.
Not quite the same, but close: A Clockwork Orange.
I would love to hear from readers at The Cozy Reader what some of their favorite titles are and why. Are there some among you who also favor the title format that appeals to me?
Connect with Daniel A. Rabuzzi
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The blog post comment questions is:
What is your all-time favorite book title and why?
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