How I Select Book Titles

Thanks to a member survey posted by an admin @Writers Assembled on Facebook this topic came to mind.

The question was, “How do you go about choosing a title? Does it reveal itself to you as you write or do you start with a title and work from there? Does it change as the work gets written? Do you struggle with titles or do they come easily to you?”

My answer: My books are not arbitrarily titled. I always start with a title, often long before the work gets written. On rare occasions the title might change, as well as the story, because the old title remains on my list until its story is written. Coming up with titles (for me) is the easiest part of the entire writing process.

That extrapolated, I’ll share brief backstories to how (or why) I came up with several titles for my books.

Black Table: This was the color of the table my family used to sit around rehashing (or discussing) our most memorable moments. Actually, I’ll credit my husband for the title since he was the one who, after some fairly eventful Thanksgiving discussions, mentioned in so many words how our ‘Black Table was a mo’fo!’ I never thought of our table, or discussions for that matter, that way but yeah, things could get a little rough around that table. By the way, Black Table is a memoir of my family’s most told stories that generally have the same version!

Storytella: Should be a given. Yes, I am the official storyteller in the family, what led me to write a collection of short stories and title the book as such… albeit dropping the ‘er’ in lieu of using ‘a’ lil East coast flava.  

Rye & the Rump: Now, this title comes with one of my most treasured back stories. Before this book was written I hosted a book party where during the event, after sharing the theme and synopsis of my romance series…then only 3 books along, I asked guests for titles to name the next book (4th) in the series. I put those titles in a hat, about 30 or so, shook it, and then took a vote on the best title. All be dern, wouldn't it be that my father won the contest, thus how Rye & the Rump came to be! 

Babies Raising Babies (recently published): First of all, this book slipped up on me sometime last year (I believe) when my son asked that I write a memoir about what it was like raising him and his sister. Instantly I knew what this title was going to be, after remembering with clarity the woman who snarled this phrase at me/us.

By far HOWEVER, my favorite backstory is how THIS ONE I GOT RIGHT was named. This book happens to be the 3rd book (novel) in my romance series. After writing the first two novels in the series, Leiatra’s Rhapsody and Something Xtra Wild, readers suggested toning my stories down. Now, I respect advice, and more so respect readers, but my work being my pride and joy found me caught up in a willful moment. I mean, the first two books I thought were written with a lot of restraint. A Lot. Which topping all things off, and as it would be, sugarcoated stories is an arc pet peeve. So, of course I really juiced up the next novel, to a level I was fairly certain exceeded the extra mark and titled the book, of course, This One I Got Right. 

#StillWriting #StillEditing #ILOVEWRITING #JustReadAnIncredibleMemoir #JUSTBLOGGED


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