Let’s Talk Titles – Titling Time Again

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Only weeks away from the release of Small Town Girl, my second Rosey Corner book. It follows up the characters in Angel Sister five years later. And now it’s time to title the Rosey Corner book I’m writing now. My working title has been Home to Rosey Corner. I like it but I haven’t had any illusions about that title sticking. I’ve again moved my characters four years into their future. Each of these books will be stories that can stand alone, but it will be more fun if you read them all – especially for me!! 🙂

The third Rosey Corner book won’t be released until the summer of 2014. A long time from now, but that’s the way the book business is. You’re always working on the book ahead. I feel blessed to have a book ahead to be working on, to be considering a new title for. So let’s talk titles.

I’m the kind of writer who would rather wait until I’ve written the end to the story before I decide on a title. For many years, that’s the way I worked when I was writing without contracts. I’d write the book and then try to place the completed manuscript with a publisher. That made coming up with titles easier for me, but it is great these days having the promise of publication in hand while I’m writing the book. That is, if I can deliver a story the editors like. I’m hoping I can do that yet again with my Rosey Corner characters. 

Many of the titles of my young adult books are the ones I came up with or slightly tweaked versions of my titles. Secrets to Tell, Bridge to Courage, A Chance Hero, For Sheila, Wish Come True – to name some of them. That’s been true for some of my Christian fiction books too. Scent of Lilacs was my title. So was Orchard of Hope. Summer of Joy was not. I had suggested Sunflowers of Joy, but Summer of Joy is better. And now they are being advertised as the Heart of Hollyhill series. I like that too. 

The Outsider was not my title, but once it was suggested by the publishers, I liked it. It fit the story nicely and suggested titles for my other Shaker books. The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted were all titles I suggested, following the pattern of The Outsider to tie the book titles together. You can see the tie-in on the Hollyhill books too. 

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that kind of kinship in titles on most series books. Of course, the writer with a great tie-in with titles is the mystery writer, Sue Grafton, starting with her A is for Alibi. She very successfully is working her way through the alphabet and is up to W is for Wasted that releases in September this year. I used to read Ross MacDonald mysteries and often his books had a color in the titles.  
The Rosey Corner books don’t have quite as obvious relationship titles, but they do have the echo of small town and family. The new title proposed is Love Comes Home. To my ear, that has the same feel as my working title, Home to Rosey Corner. What do you think?

So we’ll see. My editor once told me I wrote to the title. I certainly did in The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. Those themes were threads throughout the stories. Maybe I will again with this book. Love’s a good theme to have in a story and home is a place we all want to go. 

What words do you like to see in titles? Do some words encourage you to pick up a book quicker than other words? What is the best title for a book that you’ve ever seen?   

Remember to drop back by on Sunday or Monday when I’ll be visiting with Sue Harrison, author of the Alaskan novel series beginning with Mother Earth Father Sky. Here’s what Publishers Weekly said about the third book in the series, Brother Wind. “Engrossing, dramatic adventure…an emotionally compelling conclusion to a monumental saga.” I think you’ll enjoy visiting with Sue and hearing how she came to write these bestselling books.