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Friday, January 31, 2014

Dead End, Dead End, Dead End...

Way back in 2012, I signed a contract with Carina Press for books 6, 7 and 8 in my Dylan Scott series. The books were called Deadly Shadows, Fatal Vengeance and Dead Simple and, as I’ve never yet had a title queried, I considered these titles and not working titles.

So I began 2013 by knowing I had to finish Deadly Shadows (deadline, deadline, deadline … mutter, mutter, mutter) and knowing that I then had to write Fatal Vengeance and Dead Simple. 

Deadly Shadows was duly done and dusted - or written and edited - and hit the shelves in October. Meanwhile, I wrote Fatal Vengeance. It went through the usual development edits and lines edits, was scheduled for publication in July 2014, and all I was waiting for was the final copy-edits. I began writing Dead Simple.

And then - shock, horror. At the last minute, I was asked to change the title of Fatal Vengeance.

Some of the more savvy Carina authors will wonder what possessed me to even consider calling a book Fatal Vengeance. But that’s beside the point. I did. I lived with that title in my head for 18 months. And suddenly I had to dream up another title for it. I sent off several suggestions and it was finally agreed that the book will be called Dead End.

Dead End. And my brain has hit a dead end because I can’t grasp it at all. I firmly believe that, till the day I shuffle off this mortal coil, this book, to me, will be Fatal Vengeance.

Any suggestions as to how I might clear this mental block? Should I lie in a darkened room and chant "Dead End" as my personal mantra? Should I buy a nice shiny notepad and write out "Dead End" ten thousand times? And I have a favour to ask … in July, when I tell the world that it’s release day for Fatal Vengeance, would you please kick me where it hurts and remind me that I actually mean Dead End? Thank you.

14 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

I can sympathize, Shirley. I have a book coming out in March that I will forever think of as VICIOUS CIRCLE. And all my notes and old documents have "VC" notations. Had to rename it, though, and now it is DARK DEEDS. At least they picked one of the alternates that I liked. ;) But yeah, it's hard to wrap my head around the new title. :D

BabsMcG said...

In the words of probably noone - dat's dead mad is dat! Fatal Vengeance does have more of a ring about it, but I guess you are just the author so what do you know :-)

Elise Warner said...

I agree with you about your original title but "Onward and upward."

Shirley Wells said...

I'm finding it impossible, Anne Marie. And yes, all those old notes and files with FV on them. I've decided I'm too old to cope. :)

Babs, as has been proven many times, I know nothing. Ha.

Elise, you're right. That's what I keep trying to tell myself.

jean harrington said...

Shirley, you are not alone. The titles of my first 4 Murders by Design were accepted by Carina without a murmur. Number 5, though, needs changing. I sent in around 9 or 10 alternates and am still waiting for the big reveal. But you know, it's okay.

Toni Anderson said...

If you're like me all your computer files will also be under the other name.
Ah, well, I know why you had to rename.
You're going to hate me, but I like the "DEAD' theme in your titles.
And funnily enough the working title of my WIP is SILENT WITNESS another of yours!
Crazy world but we know what makes it go around, huh?

Shirley Wells said...

Good luck, Jean. I hope the big reveal meets with your approval. And I hope you manage to remember it!

Toni, every single file is under the other name. I must remedy that. And I have no idea why I had to rename. I wasn't told. ;) The 'dead' theme is more by fluke than judgement. I wish now that I'd started with a 'dead' theme ... or a 'fatal' theme. All a bit hit and miss with me. :)

Cathy Perkins said...

Hugs! I think we've all been there with marketing changing the name, category...

We'll simply help you promo it, whatever you call it :)

Rita said...

Aww! I know it's hard. It will be okay. Hugs.

J Wachowski said...

Oh it's like naming children. I hate having to re-title.
Altho...I have noticed than when I'm doing a big revision, I'll sometimes change a character's name! It's as if they are re-incarnated, in a slightly altered universe.
Maybe you can think of the new book that way?

Shirley Wells said...

Thanks, Cathy. :)

I'll get there, Rita. Just need to get the brain in gear. :)

Shirley Wells said...

I'm so with you on that one, J. I'll change a character's name at the last minute too. Hmm, perhaps I can think of the book that way.

Marcelle Dubé said...

I really like the idea of reincarnating your book under the new title, which is pretty good, by the way.

Don't worry about it, Shirley. You will adapt.

Shirley Wells said...

I like it, too, Marcelle. :) And yes, I will adapt. I will, I will, I will...

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