Friday, March 22, 2024

Q&A with Joanna Goodman

From my Q&A with Joanna Goodman, author of The Inheritance: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I always write my novels with a “working title” that never makes it to publication. Once the novel is complete, the real title inevitably reveals itself to me. With The Inheritance, my original working title was The Gold diggers. I meant that to be tongue-in-cheek, since the novel is about a mother and daughter’s decades-long battle to inherit from her billionaire father, who died intestate. Because Arden was his illegitimate daughter, the courtroom drama spans from the early eighties to the present, thrusting them into the spotlight and making them vulnerable to being seen as scammers and gold diggers.

Just before the book came out, I changed the title to When We’re Millionaires, which I felt catapulted the reader into the heart of the book’s theme, which is the idea of life being on hold while we chase down our goals, as opposed to actually living in the present. (When I lose ten pounds. When I have a New York Times Bestseller. When we inherit millions…)

All the characters in The Inheritance are in a kind of purgatory as they wait year after year, decade after decade, for this money to come in. I loved the idea of exploring how Virginia, the mother, would hand down that legacy to her daughter - well intentioned, but is it the right choice?

In the end, The Inheritance best captured the soul of the book in its entirety, from the literal courtroom inheritance case to the idea of...[read on]
Visit Joanna Goodman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Inheritance.

My Book, The Movie: The Inheritance.

Q&A with Joanna Goodman.

--Marshal Zeringue