The Title Not Meant to Be

In my last post, I promised to share the title of my upcoming middle grade novel that ultimately ended up being axed.

First, I should say that way back, in the very beginning, this book began as a short story titled The Hired Girl. Also another fun fact about this book is that I wrote that original story some time in the 90’s. A very long time ago, I know.

But all stories come about in their own time. Some take longer than others. That is the case with this book. What I can say is that I’m so pleased that I didn’t give up on it. There are reasons why this book is close to my heart and I’ll share that in another post. Today’s post is about lost titles.

So the title I gave the book when I submitted the manuscript was Winter Beech. Some of you may be familiar with winter beech and more than likely have seen them. Perhaps you didn’t give them a second thought even.

Winter Beech are small beech trees that hold their leaves all winter. While they do turn brown in the fall, these papery-thin leaves stay attached until the following spring. As a matter of fact I saw some just recently, persistent little buggers that they are. Last winter I snapped some photos of some winter beech growing on our property back when I thought this might likely to be the title–so pretty with the snow. I happen to think they’re quite lovely as does the protagonist in my book. For her, they symbolize hope and remind her of her father who died during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Nature provides us with some neat spectacles if we keep our eyes open.

In case you feel sorry for the lost winter beech title, I can assure you, I like the sparkly new title even more. There’s a book cover. FYI–it will still go through some tweaking before the book comes out. Right now my publisher needed it for the upcoming fall catalogue. I’ll be posting the cover very soon.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope wherever you are the sun is shining down on you.

You Can’t Judge a Book Without a Title

As I’ve mentioned earlier on this blog, my next MG novel will be coming out this fall. But have I mentioned that for a long time my soon to be published middle grade novel did not have a title? I wanted to, just now, say that it was titleless but WordPress doesn’t acknowledge titleless as a word, contrary to Google which says it’s an adjective meaning “without a title.” Interesting.

Titles can be very important to a book. I can remember when my first book Bitter, Sweet was published; so many people commented on the well placed comma in the title. I had originally titled the book Bittersweet and when my publisher asked my thoughts on tweaking it a bit, I wasn’t quite sure. I needed time to think about it. I was told they wanted the title to stand out. There were other books out there with similar titles. I took a few days to mull it over, but ultimately agreed with them. Later, I was so glad I did. I now couldn’t imagine it being all one word and, as I said, many people seemed to be slightly curious about that comma.

But this last book of mine, coming out this November (yes, I did say November!) has been without a title for awhile now. I did title it when I submitted the manuscript, of course I did, but my publisher didn’t love the title. (Hey, these things happen!) So my editor and I brainstormed some ideas and sent our suggestions along. Our list was narrowed down to three, of which I was asked an opinion on. And suddenly my book had a title. Just that simple, dimple.

Did I say simple? Hmmmm, not quite.

The first list we submitted didn’t have anything that jumped out for my publisher. Could we come up with more suggestions?

No problem. We came up with another list. And then finally, within that list, three nuggets were found. I picked the biggest and shiniest nugget of the three. Hello book title!

I find it interesting that so often when people hear that you’ve an upcoming book, their first question is “What’s the title?” Never fail.

I find that interesting because, without knowing anything else about a book, the title doesn’t sem all that important to me. For instance is it an adult fiction? childrens book? non-fiction? What’s the story about? All things you might not be able to discern by a title alone. But that is just my thoughts on it.

So, happy that I am to have a sparkly new title. I won’t yet share it with you. Not to be intentionally cruel, but I’ll wait until I’m ready to show the cover. Believe me when I say, you’ll appreciate the title much more when you have a visual to go with it.

But stay tuned. I will share the original title in my next post, but only because there’s a story to go along with it. You may even learn a little something from the post. See you then!

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