Saturday, May 08, 2021

Q&A with Mercedes Helnwein

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

For a very long time the title was The World is A Vampire. This was because of the main character’s love for the Smashing Pumpkins, but also because I felt that that song ("Bullet with Butterfly Wings") summed up so perfectly the main character’s teenage view of existence.

When it came to choosing an actual final title for the book, my editor suggested Slingshot. I loved the idea of a one-word title and that it tells you nothing about the story. It’s a love story, so even better, because I had a natural instinct to want to counter-act the romance aspect of the story, without actually compromising it. I really like how hard-core, over-the-top, helplessly the main character falls in love, but it is happening to a person who didn’t ask for it or want it, and who definitely isn’t the right candidate for it. I felt like the title somehow reflected that.

Also, I promise it’s not a random title at all, because the whole story hinges on an actual scene with a slingshot in the book.

What's in a name?

The name of my main character is Gracie Mae Welles. Grace – Gracie. I was...[read on]
Visit Mercedes Helnwein's website.

Q&A with Mercedes Helnwein.

--Marshal Zeringue