Duncan Reyneke’s new novel, Bay City Monsters, maybe a spiritual successor to his debut book, Nails in the Sky, but that’s really where the similarities end.
Nails is a serious and dreamy examination of what it means to be a person and to actually exist (a nod to Reyneke’s Philosophy background, perhaps). Bay City is a fun, energetic, rather sexy adventure through a world being torn apart by the apocalypse.
The two may share a location (the shy town of Port Elizabeth, South Africa), and a few local references for the sharp-eyed, but that’s about it.
So why Bay City Monsters? Why Nails in the Sky? What makes an author choose one name when they could choose any name?
Join us, today, as we take a closer look. And beware potential spoilers ahead for both of these books.
A Book By Any Other Name
When we talk about authors choosing the titles for their own books, we have to start by clearing one thing up most of the time, they don’t get to choose the title at all. They might work with one, and labor under the impression that they’ll get to keep it, but the ultimate say usually lies with the publisher.
Love finishing your book, The Splendid Introspection: Space Turtles On Base Nebula? That’s great – if you get it published, the publisher’s going to change it to Space Tales and tell you and your old title to get bent, 99% of the time.
Of course, if like Reyneke, you’ve opted to forge your own path and self-publish (as he has with Nails in the Sky as well as Bay City Monsters), this gets put squarely back into your hands.
So what gives with the enigmatic names?
Here’s the inside scoop:
Nails in the Sky
We can’t tell you too much about the explanation behind this name without giving away the story, we can tell you it’s taken from a pivotal moment in the book. And that, when it comes, your love for this weird book will probably triple in size and intensity.
Bay City Monsters
This is actually an easy one. Set in Port Elizabeth, Reyneke’s hometown and (as the name flat out says) a port city, the novel takes place in and around the coastal area. It’s also full of monsters. Like, big ones.
But Reyneke peels back the meaning a bit, showing off his heroes’ flaws in interesting ways and asking the reader to look at the things we do as a reflection of the monsters we are, as well.
Bay City Monsters and Nails In The Sky
Ultimately, books are about what the reader makes of them. At least the good ones are, anyway. And while there may be official meanings behind these two fantastic book titles, the truth is they’re more your responsibility to read and interpret than they are his anymore.
After all – he already threw the torch. You’re the readers who have to catch fire.
Duncan Reyneke is the author of Bay City Monsters, a romantic comedy told on the edge of an apocalypse. Order your copy today, and discover the alternative RomCom you never knew you always wanted.