What’s in a name?
The name for my main character Tori came easily to me. I wanted it to be a simple, short name that wasn’t too common. I like names with vowel sounds as I knew them when I grew up – call them Italian, German or Māori – rich or open a, e, i, o, u sounds, not their English counterparts.
I can’t remember when the title “Teaching Tori” came to me. I think it was right at the start. Initially, I called my work in progress Tori and Tom, but then I found “Teaching Tori” describes what happens in the novel much better.
It plays with the two meanings of ‘teaching’ – one as a verb, the other one as an adjective (Actually, I think it’s called a gerund - I need to find out the correct grammatical term because I am a grammar nerd.)
Teaching Tori shows Tori in her job, as opposed to ‘singing’ Tori or ‘typing’ Tori. She is a primary school teacher and lives for her job and the lives of the children in her class. She is ‘teaching Tori’ – Tori, who teaches.
But the novel is also about Teaching Tori, meaning that people are teaching her (or in the case of Tom, he is trying to teach her something, but she is quite a reluctant learner.)
Throughout the story, various people teach Tori various things, which, hopefully, lead to her learning some important lessons in life.
I am very comfortable with the choice of my title. It is the kind of title that would catch my attention – I would want to find out what or who she is teaching, or if someone else is teaching her.
What attracts you to a book title?