Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Q&A with Laura Maylene Walter

From my Q&A with Laura Maylene Walter, author of Body of Stars:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?
© Eric Mull Photography

A few years ago, I made lists of potential titles to find a replacement for the working title I’d long been using for my in-progress novel. I scrawled ideas in my writing notebook early in the morning, jotted down more possibilities on my lunch break at work, and emailed my writing friends long strings of (mostly terrible) titles for their feedback. Throughout this process, Body of Stars eventually found its way onto one of those lists, but it took a few days to sink in as the perfect choice.

Now, I can’t imagine any other title for this novel, which is set in a world where the freckles, birthmarks, and moles on the bodies of women and girls predict the future. These markings are arranged into patterns or “constellations,” so celestial bodies serve as a metaphor in the novel. The protagonist, Celeste, views her own markings as both a privilege and a burden. When she discovers a catastrophic prediction about her older brother, she wishes she could erase her markings and live without the weight of knowing what is to come.

The title therefore has a dual meaning: it can refer to literal bodies of stars, but mostly, it speaks to the overarching depiction of...[read on]
Visit Laura Maylene Walter's website.

Q&A with Laura Maylene Walter.

--Marshal Zeringue