Saturday, August 22, 2020

Q&A with Kate Riordan

From my Q&A with Kate Riordan, author of The Heatwave:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The Heatwave, as a title, doesn’t attempt to tell the reader much about the specific plot points of my story, which is set in the south of France and brim-full of long-buried family secrets. But what it does suggest, I hope, is the mood of the book. A heatwave is by its nature extraordinary and so it follows that the people enduring it will start to behave in extraordinary ways, shucking off the normal rules like their clothes as the mercury keeps on rising.

A reader knows without conscious thought that there will be drama in a book called The Heatwave because hot weather can send people mad; we naturally associate extreme heat with fury and fire and boiling resentments, and all of these are present in the book. We also know instinctively that heatwaves can’t go on forever. At some point the weather is going to break, and probably in dramatic fashion. Any reader will pick up that the action ‘on the ground’ in the book is going to mirror that climax.

I did consider the title Heatstroke instead - I liked the single word, and the sensuousness of ‘stroke’ (though the medical condition, which features in the book, is anything but), but...[read on]
Visit Kate Riordan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fiercombe Manor.

Q&A with Kate Riordan.

--Marshal Zeringue