Monday, January 16, 2023

Q&A with Ellen O'Clover

From my Q&A with Ellen O'Clover, author of Seven Percent of Ro Devereux:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux’s original title was, simply, MASH — in homage to the classic game, Mansion Apartment Shack House, that Ro builds her future-predicting app around. But when it came down to it, my editor and I both felt that MASH wasn’t doing the work it could be doing as a title: Ro’s app is a major character in the book, but it’s not the heart of it.

This story is about discovering who you are, and grasping at control over what comes next, and figuring out whether the person you’ve been in the past will follow you into the future. Ro’s app, MASH, is predicated on a human behavioral theory that people are 93 percent predictable. So, in turn, her app’s predictions are 93 percent predictable. I won’t say any more than that, but I think readers can fill in the blanks! I love the book’s final title and how it captures the story's emotional core.

What's in a name?

Ro’s mom named her and then...[read on]
Visit Ellen O'Clover's website.

Q&A with Ellen O'Clover.

--Marshal Zeringue