Monday, April 14, 2014


by Kathy Cannon Wiechman

LIKE A RIVER is the title of my Civil War novel (due out in Spring, 2015, from Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights). The theme of water threads through the story, and four rivers are mentioned in it by name (Ohio, Coosa, Kanawha, and Mississippi), but it is not really about rivers.

Mississippi River near Memphis.
Though the rivers play a necessary, but minor, role in my novel, the title comes from that aspect of rivers to be ever-changing. And a river’s ability to change the lives of those around it.

The Mississippi becomes a watery grave for a large number of people in the story. (Check back in for the “S” post for more details on that.) But when searching for a title, I thought about the lives of my characters throughout the novel. In dialogue toward the end of the book, someone talks about how much the war changed Leander.

Another character’s response is, “Like a river.”

The publisher may decide on a different title for the book before publication. Something they feel is more marketable perhaps. That is their right. After all, things change—like a river.


  1. I always enjoy hearing how people pick titles for their works. And I did chuckle at the last paragraph - that's a great easy-going attitude to have about these things.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,

    1. Thanks, Jocelyn. I definitely enjoy meeting people through the A to Z challenge.

  2. Hi Kathy - Like a River .. seems like a very good title ... so much goes on in a river and around it, particularly if that setting is the Mississippi ...

    Good choice I'd say - cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks, Hilary. I think the title fits, but others might as well--or better.

  3. I hope your publisher keeps the title. I think it's evocative and beautiful!!!

  4. Replies
    1. Absolutely. It's also a metaphor to power. If you've ever seen or felt the power of a rushing river, it leaves you in awe. Thanks, Ann.