Friday, January 22, 2021

Q&A with Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

From my Q&A with Liese O'Halloran Schwarz, author of What Could Be Saved:
photo credit: Amy Stern
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I think it really accurately reflects the book, but it is subtle and the meaning isn’t clear until one has read the book. My editor and I struggled a good while to find the right title. My books tend to be sort of complex (What Could Be Saved is told in two timelines, on two continents and in two eras, from several different points of view), so we considered a number of titles that might fit one bit or the other well, but it was hard to find a title that worked not only to encapsulate the whole story, but also to communicate properly to the reader something about what the reading experience might be. My wonderful editor at Atria, Peter Borland, generated lists of suggestions, and What Could Be Saved was in one of his lists. It’s actually a phrase taken from a conversation between two characters in the book, but its meaning as a title is layered, and not limited to that specific conversation. I also feel it communicates a hint of hope— I want prospective readers to know that while the book contains some serious themes and might stir their emotions, the...[read on]
Visit Liese O'Halloran Schwarz's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Possible World.

Writers Read: Liese O'Halloran Schwarz (August 2018).

The Page 69 Test: The Possible World.

The Page 69 Test: What Could Be Saved.

Q&A with Liese O'Halloran Schwarz.

--Marshal Zeringue