Okay, McD asked about titles and specifically about Sing’s title. Since this blog isn’t read by legions and I doubt those who do read it also happen to be regulars at Two Ends of the Pen, I’ll go ahead and tell about titles here. I also can expand more, since for her panels Deb specifically asks for 1 or 2 paragraph answers, and my answer covered the titles of all 3 books, so each book only got maybe 2 sentences. Spoiler Alert. If you do happen to be a Two Ends of the Pen reader and want to wait and read her panel, stop here.
First of all IMO all too many romance titles are very forgettable. Heart, Love, Desire this, that or the next thing in some combination that flies out of my head the minute I’m not looking at the cover. Titles like The Outsider or Flowers From the Storm on the other hand do tend to stick with me. So that’s the kind of title I want.
I’ll start with Eyes since it came first. The book was done and through a couple of drafts and still had no title because I couldn’t think of anything I liked. One day I was ruminating on how romances have so much emphasis on eye color. You know the kind of thing: not just green, but emerald; violet (have you ever seen violet eyes); not grey but storm-colored or silver!; not light brown but whiskey – or gold! Those thoughts led to the title for Eyes. I worried it was too long and too many words but liked it too much not to use it anyway. I had to go back and change the eye color of both Cord and Anne from what I’d originally had so that the title would work, and I’ve never been sorry.
Sing was not without a title so long, but it was without a title I liked. Those of you who have read it know there’s a mention of rainbows in several places, and my early titles were all Rainbow something or something Rainbow. At one point I was thinking of Wrapped in a Rainbow or Rainbows, but another indie put out a book earlier this year with that title on a more modern romance. I even had it on my website for a while to look for the next romance with a title of Rainbow Rapture. There’s no problem with using a title someone else has used. Titles don’t have copyright, but I don’t think it’s a good idea, and I wasn’t that happy with the rainbow titles. Again, they seemed ordinary.
So one day I was working on the sex scene in the first part of the book. As always I had to be in a darkened room with a couple of beers in me, so maybe those beers helped. Writing those scenes, mild as they are in my books, is torture for me. I was having Sarah be embarrassed afterwards at what she’d done at the height of passion and Matt – well, Matt being Matt. Once he’d referred to her being noisy as music, well, it was just there, and I was delighted with it and never had a second thought about those words as the title.
I’ve been very pleased to have readers both in reviews and in emails to me mention they really like the titles. Their comments make me glad I kept fussing and studying on it until I came up with titles that worked for me and evidently work for others. Maybe I’m wrong – there’s no way to ever know – but I really believe the titles are part of the reason why books by a totally unknown indie in a genre with so many to choose from have done so well.
And here I am again. Almost all of the story for the next romance is worked out in my head, but it has no title….