Saturday, July 29, 2023

Q&A with John Milas

From my Q&A with John Milas, author of The Militia House: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

There's inherent tension when you have an obvious, literal title but the phrase isn't used immediately in the text. In the case of "militia house" not being seen as a phrase until chapter three, I hope the reader is wondering, "What is the militia house? Why is it important? Where is it? What's inside?" Things like that. The title implies a question for the reader, which establishes early, page-turning momentum. I love studying James A. Michener and Philip K. Dick as their titles range from inadequate to ridiculous. Between the two of them, they've come up with Space, Alaska, The Novel, VALIS, Ubik, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. I mean, what do I do with a title like Space? As a reader, I'm wondering beforehand, is this a book that is about cosmic space, interior space, space in an abstract sense? I'm not sure the title pulls me into any of that in a way that generates inherent tension in a compelling way. On the other side of the coin, you've got...[read on]
Visit John Milas's website.

Q&A with John Milas.

--Marshal Zeringue