Saturday, May 21, 2022

Q&A with Brian Klingborg

From my Q&A with Brian Klingborg, author of Wild Prey: An Inspector Lu Fei Mystery:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

There is an art to creating a good book title. It must be catchy, suggestive of the plot without giving too much away, and not something that dozens of other authors have already used for their books.

The working title of the first book in the Inspector Lu Fei series was City of Ice. Pretty catchy, I thought. And relevant, as the book is set in the northern part of China, near Harbin, which is, in fact, nicknamed City of Ice. Unfortunately, many other authors, mostly writing in the fantasy genre, had already used that title. So, in the end, we had to change it to Thief of Souls. Although Thief of Souls is a good title, I’m not sure it let readers know what to expect. As I said to my editor, it sounds a bit like a 1980s synth-heavy pop song by Stevie Nicks.

The plot of this next book, Wild Prey, revolves around the illegal animal trade in China and Myanmar. In keeping with the criteria – catchy, relevant, unique – I came up with a variety of titles that included words like “meat,” “raw,” “butcher,” and so on. Okay, so perhaps I was going for lurid, rather than catchy.

After some back and forth, my editor and I narrowed the choices to either Wild Prey or The Quarry. We both liked The Quarry best – it was evocative and somewhat “literary.” However, when I started polling friends to see if they knew...[read on]
Visit Brian Klingborg's website.

My Book, The Movie: Wild Prey.

Q&A with Brian Klingborg.

--Marshal Zeringue