Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Q&A with Karla FC Holloway

From my Q&A with Karla FC Holloway, author of Gone Missing in Harlem: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I’m a title person. I had a review once that was totally correct but that still embarrasses me. It was my first book and the reviewer wrote that my title was better than the book (The Character of the Word). Ouch! So I was quite conscious in coming to a space where the two at least matched in quality. For a while (for my non fiction writing) I was taken by alliteration (Moorings and Metaphors, Codes of Conduct) – possibly why some say (not incorrectly) that I write for sound before I invest in sense. I do pay close attention to the sounds, rhythms, and tones of language. But fiction was a decided shift for me, and these titles (A Death in Harlem and Gone Missing in Harlem) became about the place that sustains the story – thus, my “in Harlem” repetition. Knowing the place (and era) was a gift because the “who, what, when, and how” remain open to each novel and the story has to find its way to and then blossom in this space. I love that freedom, and it’s an assurance for the reader that ‘Yes, it is indeed one of those books,’ and, at the same time, it gives me permission to wander into the intricacies of wherever the place takes me. (Currently, I’m intrigued by a ‘what?’ – “A Haunting in Harlem”).

What's in a name?

I love choosing “old-school” names for my characters, and since I’m pretty old-school myself, many come from my own friends and family. However...[read on]
Visit Karla FC Holloway's website.

Q&A with Karla FC Holloway.

--Marshal Zeringue