Sunday, May 21, 2023

Q&A with Samantha Jayne Allen

From my Q&A with Samantha Jayne Allen, author of Hard Rain: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Hard Rain works on multiple levels. On a purely marketing level, the sound of it is punchy and dark, communicating to readers that this is a gritty crime novel. The story begins with a devastating flood in which a woman nearly drowns and is rescued by a mysterious stranger. The woman hires Annie, a rookie PI, to find the man who saved her, and after a different victim—shot dead, not drowned—turns up, Annie wonders if the hero she seeks is actually a killer. So, the title works on a literal level as reference to the flood, but also on a thematic level; there's nothing—no person, no place—in this small Texas community that wasn't touched by the devastation, and Annie, too, must now reckon with her conflicting feelings of agency and powerlessness. I also chose the title as a reference to the Bob Dylan song, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." The mysterious stranger is a blue-eyed wanderer, and Annie's search for him will take her to bear witness to all variety of...[read on]
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Q&A with Samantha Jayne Allen.

--Marshal Zeringue