Friday, July 1, 2016

Change Places with Me Blog Tour: Lois Metzger's Top 10 Favorite Titles and a Giveaway

Change Places with Me
by Lois Metzger
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy


Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood with her stepmother and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was just a little different than it was before. The dogs that live upstairs are no longer a terror. Her hair and clothes all feel brand-new. She wants to throw a party -- this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There is no more sadness in her life; she is bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because, until very recently, Rose was an entirely different person -- a person who is still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.

Author Lois Metzger's Top 10 Favorite Titles

So often I have trouble finding the right title -- my new book, Change Places with Me, went through three different titles before I found the one that stuck. Sometimes a title is perfect and you can’t imagine it being anything else, because it fits the material so well. Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Vertigo is about much more than a fear of falling from a great height. It’s about falling in love, falling into obsession, falling into madness. Or Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca, which is about an unnamed girl living in the shadow of the dead Rebecca. But in both of those cases, you have to see the movie or read the book before you realize how resonant the title is.

And sometimes a title is spectacular all on its own, with a presence and power that can stand apart. Here are my Top Ten Favorite Titles:

One Hundred Years of Solitude
One hundred years is a long time and doesn’t usually describe a state of existence. Flat-out beautiful title. (Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s sweeping 1967 saga of seven generations of a family that, when you do the math, experience a century of solitude in a mythical Latin American town.)

Touch of Evil
“Touch” is a soft, gentle, fleeting word, and to have it linked to “evil” underscores an unlikely contrast. (1958 film noir written, directed by, and starring Orson Welles, about the police investigation of a crime in Mexico.)

Dear Bill, Remember Me?
I just love this sad, sweet, wistful, hopeful title; I can easily picture a girl writing to Bill, crossing things out, starting and re-starting, until finally she only has the courage to question if he still has a faint memory of her. (The title story in a collection of short stories by Norma Fox Mazer, 1976.)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A most poetic and enchanting title -- makes you think anything can happen and anything is possible. (One of William Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, about true love and transformation, written in 1595 or 1596.)

I Know Where I’m Going!
It’s the exclamation point that makes this title so compelling. Why is she so sure? Doth she protest too much? (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s completely delightful 1945 romantic comedy starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey.)

Long Day’s Journey into Night
This title feels like a journey itself, and for me conjures up a sense of slow, heavy dread and deep melancholy. You know the expression “it’s always darkest before the dawn”? Forget the dawn. This is just darkness. (Eugene O’Neill’s harrowing -- and semi-autobiographical -- Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a family plagued by illness and drug addiction.)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
A just plain silly title that asks a surprisingly logical question. (Philip K. Dick’s 1968 science fiction classic that became the basis for the moody, intense action-thriller Blade Runner.)

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
This musical title is so inviting! The somewhat archaic expression -- “to think that…” only makes it more appealing. (Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book, published in 1937, about a boy who creates an elaborate fantasy about seeing, among many other astonishing things, an elephant and a magician with a ten-foot beard on Mulberry Street; when he gets home he tells his father the truth, that he only saw a horse and wagon.)

The Sound and the Fury
This title is a phrase lifted from one of the most famous speeches in Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene v, where an anguished Macbeth despairs over the meaninglessness of life: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow/Creeps in this petty pace from day to day/To the last syllable of recorded time/And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!/Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/And then is heard no more. It is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing.” The title is telling you that the person telling the story is an “idiot” and it all means “nothing.” What’s not to like? (William Faulkner’s 1929 masterpiece about love and loss in a Southern family; ranked sixth on the Modern Library list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.)

The Fools in Town Are on Our Side
Here’s another piece of a quote taken from another famous source: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. In the novel, two con men are talking about making some easy money: “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?” (A 1970 thriller by Ross Thomas about political corruption in an unidentified city.)

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Follow the Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. She is the author of five novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and The Huffington Post. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

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  1. This is a new to me author but this book sounds so intriguing. I will have to check out the other books that you asked about.

  2. I've always wondered how it would feel to be someone different, in a good way :) I'd like to read the book so I can read how things progress with Rose :)

  3. I haven't read any of your previous books, would enjoy reading this book.

  4. I haven't read any of your previous books but I like this one.


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