Please help me welcome author Katherine Marsh! Her Blog Tour for her upcoming release of[amazon_link id=”1423135008″ target=”_blank” ] Jepp, Who Defied the Stars[/amazon_link] stops here with a guest post on her books title!
I am currently reading this and really enjoying it! I can’t wait to find out what else happens! Jepp is a memorable character you won’t soon forget.
See below on a chance to win a copy of this truly unique book for yourself.
[amazon_link id=”1423135008″ target=”_blank” ]Jepp, Who Defied the Stars[/amazon_link] by Katherine Marsh
Hyperion Book | October 9, 2012 | 400 pages
Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born?
Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands?
Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.
He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in a luxurious prison: Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them; but it breaks Jepp’s heart to see his friend Lia suffer.
After Jepp and Lia attempt a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe in a kidnapper’s carriage, Jepp fears where his unfortunate stars may lead him. But he can’t even begin to imagine the brilliant and eccentric new master–a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars–who awaits him. Or the girl who will help him mend his heart and unearth the long-buried secrets of his past.
Masterfully written, grippingly paced, and inspired by real histori-cal characters, “Jepp, Who Defied the Stars “is the tale of an extraordinary hero and his inspiring quest to become the master of his own destiny.
Katherine Marsh Guest Post
Greetings, Jess and Cozy Reader Readers!
Jess has asked me to write about titles, how I came up with mine and what factors influence me when I’m devising a title. Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is my third novel for young readers and was probably the hardest to figure out a title for. Partly this is because the story isn’t easy to explain. I can basically guarantee that Jepp is the most unusual book you’ll read all year. It’s a coming-of-age, adventure/ romance story that stars a dwarf and has a supporting cast that includes a giant, a nose-less astronomer, and a beer-drinking moose. And nope, it’s not fantasy either. A majority of the characters were actually real historical figures. Plus the book also attempts to answer—or at least explore—one of the biggest philosophical questions: Are our lives determined by fate and circumstance or can we change them through our own actions?
So back to that title question: How in heck do you come up with 1-7 words that encapsulate all this? It’s not easy. It’s especially not easy when you’re trying to do the job three weeks after having a baby, when only about a quarter of your brain is operational. But that’s just what I had to do. When my daughter was three weeks old, I had to start generating title ideas. This meant sending my preschooler out with dad, turning off Teen Mom reruns, and getting serious.
I always start the title process by devising a long list of all the words and terms that could possibly apply to my book. Astrology is one of the big themes of the book—at 14, Jepp is taken to the royal court of the Spanish Netherlands to be a court dwarf and receives his first horoscope. So is astronomy—after Jepp is involved in an epic tragedy at court he finds himself pressed into service to the nose-less astronomer mentioned above. The word “stars” seemed to touch both on the science/free will aspect of the story as well as on the astrology/fate part. Jepp is such a huge character–no pun intended, just wait till you get to know him–that even before I came up with a title, I referred to my working draft as simply Jepp.
The hard part was uniting the “stars” and “Jepp” together. A good title needs a sense of drama and mystery—it’s the story in miniature but it makes you want to know more. My wonderful editor, Abby Ranger, hit on the words defy and defiance. That’s when it clicked: Jepp, Who Defied the Stars. The crux of Jepp’s story is his defiant attempt to change his own fate—a fate seemingly determined by his height, by his family, and by the tragedies and secrets that shape him. How does he do this? How can we all change who we are and escape our past? Not to leave you on a cliffhanger, but you’ll have to read my book to find out.
Connect with Katherine Marsh
I’m the author of the upcoming historical YA novel Jepp, Who Defied the Stars (out October 9th!), the Edgar-award winning The Night Tourist, and a sequel, The Twilight Prisoner (read if you like ghosts, urban exploration and Greek myths). I live in Washington, D.C. with my husband and two kids, spent a decade as a journalist for publications ranging from Good Housekeeping to Rolling Stone, love to cook and hate to clean (my desk was the messiest by far at Good Housekeeping).
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Do you believe in fate?
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