Before I get started here, this picture has nothing to do with the subject of the blog post, but I've gotten really paranoid about using things when I don't know their source. This is my 16-year-old granddaughter Tierney, and I'm pretty sure she won't sue me for using her picture. Isn't she pretty?
How are you with titles? Yeah, I’m stretching today—I couldn’t think of a single thing to write. But, in truth, it’s kind of an interesting question. I’ve had five books published, a number that will go to seven over the next months. I titled these books as follows, in the order of their release.
1. Annie Again became Always Annie because Kensington thought Annie Again sounded negative, as in, “What, Annie again?”
2. Because of Joe has stuck through three publishers! I swear, I’m not responsible for the first two closing their doors, but I was surprised when The Wild Rose Press left the title intact. Maybe they thought “third time lucky.”
3. River Walk became The Debutante’s Second Chance. I love this story, loved writing for Harlequin (it was a Silhouette Special Edition), loved the editor I had there. The title—and maybe I shouldn’t admit this; maybe it’s like looking a gift horse in the mouth—makes me want to gag. I liked River Walk.
4. Where Once There Were Wolves became Home to Singing Trees simply because the original was too hard to say. Try and say it three times and it’s a tongue twister. Try and say it after two glasses of anything stronger than Diet Coke and they might haul you off to detox.
5. Last Rose had several titles before Carina Press bought it—even though they hated the title. My editor, Mallory, and I went through many hundreds of titles—well, maybe not quite that many, but it felt like it—and I think One More Summer passed because they were tired of dealing with us. And I love the new title—I have difficulty remembering it as anything else.
6. Early to Rise is about a woman named Early, so I thought it was a great title. Harbourlight Books didn’t think so. Early has a quilt shop named A Soft Place to Fall. They liked that title better. I like it, too.
7. Pickle Jar Dreams. Well, I guess pickle jars don’t sound romantic. Carina Press suggested Jar of Dreams and Mallory and I said Yes! It’ll be out in January and I can’t wait.
So there you have, whether you wanted it or not, the history of my failure as a person-who-titles-her-own-books. How about you? Have you been more successful at it than I have? And while I’m asking questions, how important is the title to you? Do you consider it when buying a book? I don’t—at least, I think I don’t. Hmm…