Sunday, March 3, 2013

Genesis of My Book Titles

A title is a strange beast. Its function is to incorporate the entire story in a few words without giving any surprises away. Impossible? Maybe. But titles, like covers, are marketing tools. A good title is important.

How do I come up with the titles of my Regency comedies? Well, sometimes they come to me, and sometimes they don't. I usually start with two or three titles and then pick the one I like the best.

Lady of the Stars started out as The Stars Are the Same. Since the story is a time travel, the original meant that the stars, and hence other things, like love, are unchanged in both the past and present. But that's not exactly descriptive and hardly obvious. The final title refers to the twenty-first century heroine's time-traveling role in a legend involving the hero, and also to her occupation of astronomer. I had to think about the title for months before I came up with the final version.

Pumpkinnapper came to me in a flash as I thought about a Halloween story about a pumpkin thief, AKA a pumpkin kidnapper, contracted to pumpkinnapper. The original version was Pumpkin-Napper.

Mistletoe Everywhere started out as The Magic Mistletoe. The mistletoe is indeed magic, but the first title gives too much away. I changed it to its final form, which is also very descriptive, because the hero sees mistletoe over the heroine, mistletoe only he can see.

The original title for Gifts Gone Astray was Gifts Awry. The original sounds like the gifts are malformed, but they're not. The final encapsulates the story of gifts going to the wrong person.

An Inheritance for the Birds started out as Ducks in the House. The story is about pet ducks and an inheritance with slightly crazy terms. Since the ducks live in the manor house in the story, Ducks in the House sounded appropriate. The final title captures the inheritance, the involvement of birds (ducks), and the pun alerts you to something weird and funny going on.

A Similar Taste in Books was originally Love and the Library. Love and the Library would have been a good title because the hero and heroine meet in a library. But they also like the same books, especially Pride and Prejudice, which is the book that brings them together. So, I went with A Similar Taste in Books for the story.  The hero in Book 1 has three friends, and each will also find his love at the library over a copy of Pride and Prejudice. Love and the Library is now the name of the series. I'm thinking of the title A Shared Interest in Numbers for Book 2, since the hero and heroine are mathematicians.

I have to work on the titles, but somehow, given enough time, I eventually think of something I like.

Thank you all,

No comments: