Friday, March 12, 2021

Q&A with Lisa Fipps

From my Q&A with Lisa Fipps, author of Starfish:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The title of my middle-grade novel in verse, Starfish, doesn’t take readers into the story; it piques their curiosity, makes them wonder what it’s about. The title coupled with the gorgeous cover illustration (I absolutely love it) of a girl in a swimming pool lets them know the book is not about the star-shaped sea creature. It’s about a girl. And then they wonder what a girl has in common with a starfish. A good title gets your attention and starts making you think about what’s inside the book. Gets you to read that first page. I used to be a journalist, a writer and an editor. I have lots of practice when it comes to summarizing a story in a catchy or interesting way. One of my favorite headlines, which helped me win a headline portfolio award and made the Tonight Show With Jay Leno, was “Court Upholds Butt Search for Crack.” I usually know from the get-go what a title will be. Just as a journalist can suggest a headline but the copydesk has the final say because of the font size needed based on page placement, an author can suggest a title, but the final decision is left up to the publisher. Fortunately, my editor loved it as well. Readers say...[read on]
Visit Lisa Fipps's website.

My Book, The Movie: Starfish.

The Page 69 Test: Starfish.

Q&A with Lisa Fipps.

--Marshal Zeringue