What’s in a Name?

What's in a Name? - Parabellum

I’ve settled on a working title for my new novel about the story behind a mass shooting incident: Parabellum. Here’s why I chose that name:

1. 9 mm Parabellum is the European name for the 9 mm Luger cartridge, a popular caliber of handgun cartridge.

2. The name Parabellum derives from the Latin adage “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” which translates to “If you want peace, prepare for war.” While the idea of war and violence will be central to this novel, the adage also reflects my motivation for choosing this subject in the first place. I decided to write this story to answer questions I had about why these terrible events occur. I also knew these questions would prove difficult to answer and would lead me into some very dark ideas. So in order to find understanding and peace for myself, I had to be prepared for some mental conflict.

3. It sounds cool. I really think the word has a beautiful, melodic tone to it. You have to know Latin or know that the word refers to a type of ammunition in order to recognize its more sinister meaning. I want this novel to have a similar duality, balancing some very somber subject matter with moments of lightness and hope.