Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Naming Your Baby


...Or your book. To writers, it is nearly the same. (Okay, it’s exactly the same—at least to me.) Just as I couldn’t wait to see each of my three kids’ faces when they were born, I was so excited to see the covers of my other babies…my published books. And just as I have to live with our choice of kids’ names for the rest of my life (I’m still happy with them all, by the way), I have to live with my books’ names for the rest of their shelf-lives.

I’ve been lucky to have kept the original titles for my first three Mindhunters books. They are: Only Fear, Avenging Angel, and Deadly Bonds. So when the fourth book came along and, despite reader enthusiasm for the name I gave it (Vicious Circle), the publisher requested alternate options, and despite the tie-ins with both “vicious” and “circle” throughout the book, I had to dig deep for some additional choices that would still suit my baby. I knew right away that I wanted a two-word pairing, like the first three books. It had to have a suspenseful feel, too. And, of course, it had to fit the theme of my “baby.” Over several rounds of email exchanges, my editor and I came up with about four dozen alternatives.

The final choice? Dark Deeds. (To be released March 17, 2014. *shameless plug*)

I can live with that title since it fits my “baby” and has a sufficiently gritty romantic suspense vibe. I'm still working on getting used to it, though.

What’s in a name? If you’re lucky, the mood, a sense of tension and pacing, and a reflection of the theme.

What are some recent books you read where the title struck you with its power? What titles matched the “personalities” of the books, and which ones were misleading or duds?


Anne Marie is the author of the Mindhunters series. She has always been fascinated by people—inside and out—which led to degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Counseling.  As a games hostess at Sea World, tutor, waitress, personal and family counselor, and high school counselor, she indulged her curiosity through sanctioned professions.  Now, as a stay-at-home mom of three young children, her passion for understanding the human race is satisfied by her roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and writer.  

She writes to reclaim her sanity.

Find ways to connect with Anne Marie at www.AnneMarieBecker.com.

9 comments:

Rita said...

You are brilliant at book titles. I LOVE the new book title. Can't wait to read it.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Thanks, Rita! I'm so excited Carina picked one of the titles I gave them. :)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

I love the title Dark Deeds AND Vicious Circle! Can't wait for 2014 to read it! So many titles grab me, but it's all about genetics...the author can have the best title out there, but the story is lacking.... Fortunately, I know Anne Marie Becker has great genes!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Aw, thanks so much, Donnell! You have one coming out soon, too, don't you?

Toni Anderson said...

You do have fabulous titles, Anne Marie! Dark Deeds sounds wonderful. I'm fairly hopeless at titles...

Anne Marie Becker said...

Thanks, Toni!

Jean Harrington said...

Anne Marie, your title is intriguing. Dark deeds could be anything--stealing cookies at midnight, impersonating a cop, car theft, murder--it leaves the field of possibility wide open. Terrific. On Friday, I'm blogging with the unlikely title of "Am I blue?" A title that bears somewhat of a relationship with the movie Blue Jasmine which is its subject. Just a little prior PR here.

Anne Marie Becker said...

PR is welcome, Jean. :) I like titles that have multiple layers of meaning - like your "Am I Blue" and Blue Jasmine. Dark Deeds is like that, too - the killer is obviously guilty of some very dark deeds, the heroine has a dark past, and the hero is doing some dark things, but for a good reason.

J Wachowski said...

Titles are a beast! I find if I get one that I like at the start, it's REALLY hard to give it up or think of anything else. Now I call things just WIP until I'm forced to name. (Kinda like calling your baby bump "baby.") :)