The Big Reveal

Welcome to The Big Reveal

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about, and usually an interview is just with one author. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from not yet agented to published; every week I will have a new question for them. Some of these ladies have helped me with my own work, or given me advice on blogging or writing, so check out their blogs too and see what they’re about.

I’ve made up my own designations as to the status of each author.
Published means they’ve had a book(s) published.
Pre-published means they’re agented and have sold a manuscript to a publisher, but it hasn’t been published yet. (The correct term would be ‘on submission.’)
Agented means they have an agent, but haven’t sold the manuscript to a publisher yet. (They are on submission also.)
Un-agented means they are looking for representation by an agent.

So let’s get to know some of our fellow writers…

What is the title and genre of the book you are working on/trying to sell/waiting for publication? Do titles come easy? Do you have a process to figure it out or does it usually just come to you?

Joelene B. Perry, Published author

Some titles come REALLY easy. Dizzy is one of them. The Happiness of Joy – I had the title before I started the book. Left to Love took me FOREVER, and Used To Be, will probably change. No method. I just toss things around until something FEELS right.

(Suzi’s comment: Jolene has a number of on-going YA/new adult contemporary projects, all in different phases: The Next Door Boys is out and her others are all in different phases (from editing before submission to almost published to just entering on submission), including: Left to Love, Night Sky, Knee Deep, Dizzy (a collaboration project with Kelley Vitollo), The Happiness of Joy, and Used To Be. Wow—she’s been busy.)


Liesl Shurtliff, Pre-published author
RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, (MG Fantasy) will be released in Spring 2013 from Knopf/Random House. Titles do come easy for me and sometimes emerge before most of the story. I guess I have a hard time getting a feel for the story if I don’t know what it’s called. It kind of feels like having a baby and not giving it a name for a year!


Mindy McGinnis, Pre-published author
My title is NOT A DROP TO DRINK, which is a YA dystopian about a world where freshwater is scarce and people kill to protect backyard ponds and hand-dug wells. Titles do tend to come easily to me, usually in the wee hours just before I slide off to sleep. One last synapse fires and it’s usually in all caps, telling me what the title of the book is.

Melodie Wright, Agented author
My working title is Saving Andromeda but we’re in the middle of changing it. I don’t have a process – some titles come easily, some do not.


Ryann Kerekes, Agented author
The book I’m currently revising with my agent is a young adult contemporary romance, titled Aerial Mystique. It’s about a ballerina who joins with the cirque. Titles are hard for me in general. I usually begin writing, thinking a title will somehow come to me, but I have several completed manuscripts still called “Untitled,” so I guess that’s not really working for me! For this particular book, the title is the name of the cirque show, so that seemed to work, but who knows if it will change.

Cassie Mae, Un-agented author
HOW TO DATE A NERD. And titles totally suck for me! Lol. This one came easy, thank heavens, but usually the document reads this: Think of a title for this before you type ‘The End’.


Jade Hart, Un-agented author
My new WIP is called Venom’s Curse. However this is still on the fence. I’m not that great at titles. I try to wait till the end or until a sentence or word springs to mind while writing. I know it’s quite important to have a title to capture an agents attention, so I do agonise over the right one! 🙂 This story is a YA cross-over novel that deals with fantasy, but in an Indian urban setting. It’s 90,000 words and I wrote the entire thing in 8 weeks. 🙂 Which is something huge as my last MS took me two years! lol. I’m on the editing and revision phase with the thanks of my CP’s and their advice.

Janet Taylor, Un-agented author
The title of my current WIP is Adventutyme. It’s a YA book of time travel. I’m this close to finishing my last and final edits. When I’m done- I’ll begin the submission process….eek! (Do titles come easy?) Hmm- this is only my second novel, but I’ve changed the title twice, so I’d say…not too easy.


Krista Van Dolzer, Un-agented author
The title of the manuscript I’m currently querying is THE REGENERATED MAN AND ME, although I usually just call him Steve:) He’s an MG historical with a dash of science fiction, and no, titles do not come easily for me (hence the nickname). In fact, with my last manuscript, I had to hold a blog contest to help me come up with ideas.

 Stacy Stokes, Un-agented author
THE STAIRS AND THE FLY, YA Contemporary/Magical Realism.
I came up with the title when the story idea came to me, although lately I’ve been rethinking it after some input from various readers and query reviewers. My latest options include THE STAIRCASE and THE STAIRCASE THROUGH THE SKY, although my heart belongs to the current title.
For other stories the title has taken a little while longer to develop, but usually there’s a point in the writing process when the name comes to me.


Me (Suzi) Un-agented author
Some titles come easy, some do not. I got FROSTY right away because someone refers to my main character with that name. And it just fits in with the whole cold/aloof personality thing of my MC. I have no special process. If nothing comes to me, I scour the thesaurus for words relating to the theme of my story and wait for something to click.


So that’s it. Check back next week to see what the next question will be.

And thank you to all the ladies for participating in The Big Reveal.

6 Responses

  1. Thanks Suzi! For someone who sucks at titles, it was good to see all the different views on this! (And see a lot of awesome friends of mine!) High fives to my peeps!

  2. Thanks for having us, Suzi! I was surprised at how many writers said that titles were easy for them. Can I borrow their brains the next time I’m trying to come up wtih a title for a manuscript? 🙂

    1. I don’t have much inbetween. Most are easy, but when they’re not, then it’s a huge struggle. That would be a great idea, I wonder if any of the writer’s forums do that. Post your Synopsis and have others suggest a title.

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