Dancing in the Streets

I’m done, done, done! Well, not really, but I’m done getting the new romance into the computer and all that’s left is the tweaking, adding a bit here, deleting a bit there, edit, polish, beta readers, proofread, format, cover. Hmm. Looks like a long list, but I don’t care. The hard part is done and what’s left is the fun part. At least for me.

No one had much to say about the blurb I posted, but never say die. I’m hoping for some input on title. Since the group mesadallas put me onto over at the Amazon MOA forum is a rather chatty bunch, I may ask there too. So far I haven’t come up with a title for this new romance that just makes me happy the way I did for the other two. I’m not ready to give up and will hope inspiration hits during the tweaking phase. However, right now I have only two possibles. Here they are, and I’d be interested in any feedback you die hard romance readers have.

(1) Apache Hearts. The con problem with this one is that IMO it’s a pretty typical romance title and not very distinguished. Then again, there’s the famous Comanche Moon, again, not IMO very distinguished but certainly known, beloved, and oft-cited. The pro problem with this title is that it suits. The book has a lot of references to black hearts, white hearts, weak hearts, and Apache hearts. A search on Amazon shows this title isn’t being used for any other book right now.

(2) The Unbeliever. This also suits if not quite so much on a per reference basis as there are several times the heroine refers to the hero as an unbeliever. No, I’m not ready to say what he doesn’t believe. I think I like this but then again it almost smacks too much of The Outsider and Outlander and feels something like too heavy for a book of mine. An Amazon search on this one shows some ghoulish thing called The Unbelievers but not the singular title.

I’m not too sure how important it is not to have the same title as someone else. You can’t copyright titles, but I’d rather not have the same one, particularly in the same genre.

Tidbit:  Sometime in the past few days Eyes passed 10,000 sales. Not too shabby for what may be the most maligned western historical romance in the universe, hmm?


31 Responses to Dancing in the Streets

  1. DallasE says:

    Okay, I’ve been lurking long enough, LOL. I’m so looking forward to the new book. I like the name “Apache Heart”; it lets people know that the book is a Western.

    Great news about “Eyes”; I’ll take credit for three of the sales! After reading it myself I talked two friends into getting it and “Sing My Name”.

  2. Thanks so much for delurking and giving me your thoughts on titles, Dallas. Also for the sales. Word of mouth really does make the book business go round. ~Ellen

  3. Marcia Montoya says:

    Yipee!! I’m so very glad that I will be reading this new book soon….good work! I also let my son know that he will have another book to be buying me soon! Hmm. I kinda like the long title of BLACK HEARTS, WHITE HEARTS, WEAK HEARTS, APACHE HEARTS. I think I mentioned on one post to you that I am also a Kaki Warner fan. I came by her strictly by accident. I was looking up the title PIECES OF SKY by Marianne Willman in the library listings and Kaki Warners PIECES OF SKY came up instead and they had the trilogy and now Im a huge fan as with you. Say, here’s a thought…by chance do you need someone to volunteer to read your book before it comes out and this person (ME) can leave great comments for you………..

  4. McD says:

    Firstly Ellen, congratulations for passing 10 000 in sales. Wow!
    I’d say that officially places you in the ‘successful author’ category.

    As to the title. Neither of those really grab me. Sorry. So, in order of preference –

    1) A title as yet unthought of by the talented Ms O’Connell
    2) The Unbeliever
    3) Apache Hearts

  5. @Marcia – As I worked on it today I also found a rotten heart, so I suppose if I did it your way, it would obviate the need for worrying over a cover design – the words would fill the whole space. Hang tough. It won’t be much longer.

    @McD – Well, keep in mind that’s 10,000 for Eyes. Sometime next month I ought to pass 20,000 total, which tells you how popular Eyes is compared to the others, although admittedly Sing has only been out half as long.

    I always agree with you about the #1 on your list, but I vacillate between 2 and 3 on odd and even days. I confess I’m not against the bodice ripper feel. I liked a lot of those old books better than more recent ones because they featured adventure, narrow escapes, etc. I just didn’t like the jerky heroes doing the bodice ripping. So in a way I think my books are rather like bodice rippers, except without the ripped bodices. Oops. In this one the heroine’s bodice gets ripped, once by the hero even. That’s wrong. He uses a knife. Is that ripping? How’s that for teasing? Anne Bennett’s bodice got ripped too if you think about it.


  6. McD says:

    And here I was thinking that the era of the bodice-ripper was dead and buried.

  7. @McD – Great art forms never die. 🙂 ~E

  8. mesadallas says:

    Ellen, you have a lot of reasons to be dancing! 10,000 copies is amazing. Yes, you ARE a real author and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Neither of the two names really grab at me but of the two I prefere The unbelievers.

    DallasE, so nice to meet another Dallas! I took the name of mesadallas because I live in Mesa, Arizona and my husband’s name is Dallas. Is your name Dallas or do you live somewhere named Dallas?

  9. DallasE says:

    Mesadallas, Dallas is my nickname. It was given to me long ago because at the time my last name was Ewing (remember JR?). I have to constantly tell people that I do NOT like the Cowboys, lol. I live in Lake Havasu City (current temp 99, 7:15 AM).

    Ellen, I have read Eyes three times, and Sing twice. And I blame you for putting me on a western romance glom! Oh, and I convinced another friend to purchase both books! (In print, she insists on holding the book, ha.) Anxiously waiting for the new one, whatever it’s name turns out to be.

  10. @mesadallas – I have a little sign stuck on my PC with a quote from a Kindle Boards participant some time ago. I don’t really need it any more, but if I peel it off, I’ll have to deal with sticky residue. Here it is:

    “Not having the status of being a ‘real writer’ sure does burn. I guess I’ll just have to rub some money on that.”

    Okay, I’m a mercenary no good, but the fact is each of my books has earned far more than I’d have gotten as an advance for that book. Think about it – RWA recognizes people as professional writers if they earn $1,000 or more from a publisher. For any of my books, multiply sales by $1.90 and you get an idea. Eyes has all by itself earned twice the supplemental income I so desperately needed when I started this venture.

    @Dallas – I was so addicted to the show Dallas back in the day used to take a little portable tv to work (worked nights at the time) and watched it on my dinner hour.

    Thanks so much for recommending the books to friends. Word of mouth from satisfied readers does far more to promote books than anything else IMO.


  11. mesadallas says:

    I was about 16 when dallas came out. I watched it sometimes but never really got too immersed in it.

    DallasE- That’s too funny! And we are nearly neighbors!

    117 yesterday! My students weren’t able to have lunch or afternoon recess all week. Believe me, this extreme heat spell has been harder on the teachers than the kids. Can’t tell you how glad I am it’s Saturday.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi i’m a big fan from England, can’t wait for the next book!
    By the way, i was once accussed of being your shill on Amazon…..

  13. Hi Anon – Wish I could say you were in an exclusive club, but I’m sure the sweethearts who scream shill believe that every one of those 10,000 people who bought Eyes and didn’t return it immediately because it’s not up to their discriminating standards is a shill. The people who email me to say they’ve read it 3-5 times ought to be lined up and shot. ~Ellen

  14. mesadallas says:

    Note to self: Make sure to only read Ellen’s books twice. Three to five times cold prove fatal.

  15. txbookworm says:

    Congratulations on the Eyes wonderful sales! It remains my favorite book of all time. All of my friends who purchased Eyes after listening to my raves, join me in that 3-5 category…best pass the word to stay our of lines…lol

    Watching your blog daily for news on your latest works. Your growing fanbase is anxiously awaiting your new book. Enjoy your continued success!

  16. McD says:

    10 000 shills. That must have cost you a pretty penny!

  17. Never admitting to more than 2 reads, staying out of lines, wearing a Kevlar vest (bought with your shill salary). Whatever works.

    Yup. That book should have made me almost 4 times the average first timer traditional advance so far, but sadly it all went down the shill hole along with everything from Rottweiler Rescue and Sing My Name. I’m having to borrow to meet shill salaries now, and the dogs are very unhappy about being told I can’t afford dog food and they have to start hunting. ~Ellen

  18. MerviR says:

    Great news about the new book being nearly completed! From those two title alternatives I’m in favor of Apache Hearts. I think it describes the book better and kind of implies it is a romance.

    Congrats for Eyes! I’ve read it only twice so far so I won’t be shot yet. Will probably be in danger sometime in near future.

    Mervi from Finland

  19. Welcome, Mervi, and thanks for the input. I must confess better inspiration hasn’t struck yet, and if it doesn’t by the time everything else is ready to go, I may have to flip a coin. ~Ellen

  20. McD says:

    No new inspiration on the title, Ellen?
    No pressure.

  21. I’m so glad there’s no pressure because I’m beginning to believe you could squash me flat as a pancake without result. ~Ellen

  22. McD says:

    I have unerring faith in the writer who has already given us two unique titles for her historical westerns.

  23. Sing to My Silver Apache Eyes. No pressure, right? ~E

  24. McD says:

    I can tell it’s getting late on your side of the world,
    You sound a little….muddled.

  25. Paige says:

    Hello, out of the two name we were given to choose from Apache Heart gets my vote.
    I’m excited about your new book coming out. I’ll be stopping by often so I’ll be sure to know the release date.
    Will you be giving your fans a sneak peak of this book? I’m just so excited I’ll take any lil thing you can throw our way. 🙂

  26. Hi Paige – Thanks for the feedback. As the former contest winner, you will be interested to know that Emma Grace Sandlin is a character in this one. She doesn’t appear until near the end, but she’s a nice, strong character.

    I hadn’t even thought about sneak peaks. Until it’s been past some beta readers I wouldn’t want to do that because things might change, and once it gets that far it will be so close to ready to go I’m not sure how that would work, but I’ll think about it.


  27. Paige says:

    Okay now I’m really excited 🙂

  28. DallasE says:

    Wasn’t ignoring everyone, was stuck in a hotel with no decent wi-fi.

    I guess you can all just call me a twit; I read Eyes again. It has become my go-to comfort book. I have over 100 hundred unread books on my Kindle, and felt the need to read about Cord and Anne again. Sheesh!

    As we were driving through New Mexico and Arizona today, I popped my head up from reading every once in a while to check out the scenery that I’ll be reading about soon, I hope.

  29. Hi Linda – I’m having no luck getting your comment to show with the others in spite of having approved it. Maybe this reply will get it to do it’s thing. Anyway, welcome. Now that I’m finished with the new romance, I’m turning my attention (in between working on the romance cover, etc.) to the second Rottweiler mystery.

    As you can see, most of the people who come here do it because of the romances, but I’ve had more crossover readers of both genres than I expected, and I’m glad to hear from a Rottweiler Rescue fan.

    I’m another one who likes dog mysteries regardless of the breed. Susan Conant’s mysteries with Malamutes have been long time favorites, and so have Laurien Berenson’s mysteries featuring Poodles. If something comes along featuring cuties like Chins, I’ll be right there.

    I only get lost if the dog isn’t a dog and is the POV character or has supernatural powers or something. I like realistic. However, I must confess even there one set of romances has been an exception. The Miss Piggy books by Emily Carmichael are hilarious, and I loved them. The first one, Finding Mr. Right, was IMO the best, and of course it’s not available for Kindle, but I got it in paperback back when it first was out.

    @DallasE – No one would call you a twit. The vocabulary was much uglier than that, but I guess we all survived and will continue to. ~Ellen

  30. Laurie Osborne says:

    I don’t know. Apache Hearts sounds like too conventional a “romance title” to me. Of course, I will buy and read it whatever you name it.

    Why not Gaetan’s Heart? It is a striking name for a hero — unsual and not easily categorized. (See I WAS paying attention). Of course if you need “hearts” in the plural because of all the hearts, that title won’t do — Gaetan’s Hearts? Desert Hearts? Deserted Hearts (for the unbeliever thing?)?

    Okay, so I am useless, but intrigued…

  31. Hi Laurie – That’s my problem with Apache Hearts too. I’m glad you like the name Gaetan. I think he’s as unusual as his name and makes the book a little different from the average NA romance. Whether that turns out to be a good or bad thing only time and readers will tell. ~Ellen

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