Sunday, May 28, 2023

Q&A with I.S. Berry

From my Q&A with I.S. Berry, author of The Peacock and the Sparrow: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

A fair amount. I’m partial to titles with literary references, like For Whom the Bell Tolls or Tender is the Night—titles with layers of meaning that prompt the reader to think or do a bit of research. And I lean toward the poetic and oblique more than the literal and straightforward. Darkness at Noon, a reference to Stalin’s searing power juxtaposed against its black consequences, is one of my favorites.

My novel actually began with a different name, but another author happened to publish a book along the way with the same title! Luckily, I had a backup, which I ended up liking more than my original. The Peacock and the Sparrow is a reference to a parable in 1001 Arabian Nights: a sparrow ignores a peacock’s warning, strays from his path, and gets caught in a net. It’s about the futility of trying to outrun your destiny—one of my book’s themes—but there’s another, hidden meaning that readers won’t discover until...[read on]
Visit I.S. Berry's website.

Q&A with I.S. Berry.

--Marshal Zeringue