I've spent a delightful week at Candice Hern's discussion board, talking with the Bluestockings about Your Scandalous Ways & my heroes & heroines, & sharing my addiction to crumbly old books. It made a nice finish to long workdays of trying to beat the WIP into submission.
However, since the battle involved some forays into crumbly old books and buying a couple, that was fun, too.
What isn’t fun is coming up very soon, I think: Titling the WIP.
I have a fallback title but I’m not in love with it.
Strangely enough, the majority of my books carry the titles I originally gave them. Along with most of the traditional Regencies, the first three Carsington books have my original titles. But Not Quite a Lady, like other of my books, involved considerable discussion with publishing professionals. Likewise Your Scandalous Ways, which started out as Not Quite a Hero.
Making titles isn’t easy. Sometimes you nail it the first time. Other times you end up with a title you don’t love but accept as the best you can do at the time.
We can’t just stick any title we want on a book. There are titles that might sound “too contemporary” or “too romantic suspense” or “too mystery” or “too historical fiction” or too Monty Python.
Then there are good words and bad words, and these change over time as well as from publisher to publisher.
Many of you can easily list the current popular title words: Scandal, Mistress, Secret…etc. Listing them is one of those entertaining book games, like Make Fun of the Cover.
Some publishers' titles are distinctive, even to me, a writer stupendously oblivious to publishing trends. At Harlequin, for instance, I noticed the interesting He/She titles: Virgin Slave, Barbarian King; Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss; Notorious Rake, Innocent Lady.
Sometimes authors are inspired. The perfect title comes as a bolt from the blue. Sometimes…not.
And sometimes readers (including me) think they can do better. Or at least funnier.
What about you? After seeing what you lot can do with photo captions, I’ve wanted to set you a titling challenge: Pick a book or two or five and rename it/them.
To get you started, here are a few that came quickly to mind:
But feel free to choose your own. Some of you may have books you’ve been longing to rename. Now’s your chance. Serious or funny–it’s up to you. A good chunk of the U.S. is enduring beastly hot, muggy weather at the moment. We could use a laugh.
The winner will be chosen based on my whim. Said winner gets an autographed copy of a Loretta Chase book of his/her choice.
But wait, there’s more!
Anyone who wants to think up a title for my new book, here’s your opportunity. I’ll provide no further details, so let your imagination run free. If I actually end up stealing–I mean using it, you’ll win a special bonus prize…which I'll tell you about as soon as I figure out what it is.