Literary Engineer
Because reading and writing are my only obsessions

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. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them.

I’d like to welcome a new set of writers. Thank you ladies for being a part of The Big Reveal.

Do titles come easy? And tell us a little about what you’re working on now.

Mindi Scott, Published Author
My next contemporary YA novel (coming out on October 2, 2012 from Simon Pulse) is called Live Through This. That title came very easily; it just felt like the obvious choice. But the manuscript that I’ve been working on all year is still untitled! My process often involves paying close attention to song lyrics.

Steph Campbell, Published Author
I’m currently working on the sequel to Grounding Quinn, titled Beautiful Things Never Last. Titles are typically easy for me, though I did struggle with Grounding Quinn; I think that book went through four or five titles.

Christa Desir, Pre-Published Author
My book is called TrainWreck. Titles actually come quite easily to me, but they don’t always work with my agent/publisher. TrainWreck was originally called Manhole, but my agent feared it would be too polarizing.

Dahlia Adler, Agented Author
The book I have on submission is a contemporary YA romance called BEHIND THE SCENES. I wouldn’t say titles come easy, but the first title I think of for a book is usually the one I go with. So, no process – usually for me, something just clicks. Of course, that makes it really hard to change when an agent/editor requests it, but I think that’s true for all writers. We definitely get attached!

Jenny Morris, Agented Author
Already There is the title of the book I’m trying to sell and it’s YA Contemporary. It’s a collaboration project I wrote with Kelley Lynn. Titles are something I struggle with and it’s hard for me to work on the project without some kind of title. I drove Kelley crazy trying to figure out the title of this book.

Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Agented Author
Oh—titles! Great question. I would LOVE to know the title of the book I’m working on right now because I have no idea what it is yet! So, um, I guess you already realized that titles don’t come easy for me. The process begins with brainstorming a lot of words I like that relate to the MS I’m currently writing and then I start to play with them until I find a find a title I like—but then sometimes my agent doesn’t love it as much as I do… . So, well, we start the brainstorming all over again! =)

Lynne Schmidt, Un-Agented Author
I have three I’m currently querying, My Sister’s Memories, After Elizabeth (both contemporary young adults) and my memoir, The Right to Live. I have a bit of a process, I think. Usually the entire first draft is written before I have a title. (AE’s first draft is under suicide story, while my memoir was saved under Hoot Night.) It takes time before I’m like “YES! THIS IS WHAT IT IS!” (Proceed to text/family and friends and say, “What do you think??”) and even then I try not to get attached because I hear once you land an agent/editor the title may change.

Theresa Paulo, Un-Agented Author
I’m currently working on King Sized Beds and Happy Trails with the awesome Cassie Cook.
It depends. Sometimes I have the title before I even start the book. Other times I can finish edits and still not have a title. A title has to come naturally or it just never seems right to me. But if I’m completely clueless I ask friends and family for help. My book Displaced Hearts came from my dad.

So do titles come easy to you?

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8 Responses to “The Big Reveal”

  1. Avatar of Suzi Suzi Says:

    @Mindi: I often get title ideas from song lyrics too. I’ve even heard something that strikes me and I write it down, even though I have not story for it.

    @Theresa: Love that title! It certainly grabs your attention.

  2. Cassie Mae Says:

    Titles are the one thing that does come easy to me. I used to think I sucked at them, but people tell me I don’t. So I’m going to finally own that and say, yeah… I’m pretty good at coming up with titles. Though my method is pretty straight forward. I don’t like people asking me what the book is about because I suck at pitches. So I just give the book a title that answers that question for me. Ex. Falling for the Funny Fat Friend. (Oh, what’s that about?) Me: A kid who falls for the funny fat friend.

    :D

  3. Lynne Schmidt Says:

    I feel so cool that my answer is on your blog. Totally better than being in the paper, just sayin :)

  4. Emily R. King Says:

    I’m horrible with titles because they’re all about marketing, and that’s a weakness of mine. I need to spend more time thinking about the first impression I leave on an agent. When you’re querying, many have you put the title of your work in the subject line of the e-mail. So the first thing they read about your work is your title. It’s daunting!

  5. Jenny Morris Says:

    Oh man, I feel honored to be among these ladies for this Big Reveal. They are all so awesome!!! And glad I’m not the only one that struggles with titles! Haha, Christa-Manhole. LOL.

  6. Theresa Says:

    Thanks! But I can’t take credit for that one. It was all Cassie!

  7. Janeal Falor Says:

    Usually, I’m wretched at titles. Somehow with my current WIP I got lucky and it came really easily. I like it so much that I hope if I manage to get it published, they like the title enough to keep it.

  8. The Big Reveal! | Mindi Scott Says:

    [...] week, we’re talking about how we find titles for our manuscripts. I hope you’ll check it [...]

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